12 Russian elite marines have died after they blew themselves up while cooking on an open fire next to live ammunition.
Eight other marine officers were wounded in the incident.
According to Mail Online, an RPG-7 grenade launcher shell caught fire and exploded at Kuzminsky military training ground in Rostov region, bordering Ukraine.
Number of casualties
Eight of the marines from the 155th Separate Guards Marine Brigade, based in Vladivostok, were killed on the spot.
Four more died in hospital, said the News 166 outlet in Rostov, which said the humiliating tragedy had been confirmed by three independent sources.
‘About 20 people from [the marine brigade] lit a fire next to stocks of ammunition during their lunch break.
An RPG-7 grenade launcher shell rolled into the fire and exploded,’ 161.ru quoted one government source as saying.
The troops were believed to be due for deployment to Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine.
A major criminal case has been launched into a suspected breach of safety regulations.
The commander of the Pacific Fleet Admiral Viktor Liina, 55, Pacific fleet commander, has visited the training base to read the riot act over the blunder, it was reported.
Neither the Russian defence ministry nor the Investigative Committee has commented on the fiasco.