US Heat Treat Fire Blamed on Foreign Sabotage?

In almost 30 years of reporting news about the global heat treatment industry “The Monty Heat Treat News” has reported on many fires and whenever possible the cause. However this is the first time we have run across a fire in a heat treat department possibly being blamed on foreign sabotage-read on and see the full story at

“A recent string of mysterious accidents at defense facilities in the U.S. and U.K. that have been producing weapons and equipment for Kyiv’s forces in the war in Ukraine has fueled speculation on social media of possible Russian sabotage.

It comes amid rising tensions between Russia and the West, more than two years into Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russian officials have regularly accused the United States of instigating a new world war in coordination with members of the NATO military alliance, while many, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, have warned that Moscow could be gearing up for a wider conflict with NATO.

On Wednesday, two Russian nationals who were taken into custody by German police in the Bavarian city of Bayreuth were accused of preparing to bomb industrial and military sites in the country. The federal prosecutor’s office said Dieter S, 39, and Alexander J, 37, both German-Russian nationals, had been in contact with Russia’s military intelligence agency (GRU) and had plotted to carry out acts of sabotage with the intention of disrupting the supply of military aid to Ukraine.

“Our security authorities have prevented possible explosive attacks that were intended to target and undermine our military assistance to Ukraine. It is a particularly serious case of alleged spy activity for Putin’s criminal regime,” Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said during a press briefing in Berlin. “We will continue to provide massive support for Ukraine and will not allow ourselves to be intimidated,” she added. The arrests have prompted renewed speculation on social media about two separate incidents this month at arms suppliers in the U.S. and the U.K.

A fire broke out at a military plant in the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, on April 15, while in Monmouthshire, South Wales, an explosion occurred at a manufacturing plant of BAE Systems, the U.K.’s largest defense contractor, on April 17. Both facilities had been producing supplies for Kyiv’s forces in the war.

Investigations have been launched into both incidents. Responding to the two arrests in Germany this week, David Frum, a Canadian-American political commentator and a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, said on X (formerly Twitter): “Casts interesting light on those fires that ignited at artillery ammunition factories in US and UK.” Sergej Sumlenny, founder of the German think tank, the European Resilience Initiative Center, drew attention to the incidents.

“UK’s only 155-mm shells plant reports a blast (no serious damage for the factory) tonight. Two days ago, fire started at a US ammo facility in Scranton, producing shells for Ukraine. Today, in Germany, two Russian saboteurs have been arrested,” he wrote on X.

Other X users questioned the timing of the incidents. “One day after a fire at a US artillery production plant. Could still be a coincidence, but odd to be sure. Hope both countries will take a close look,” one user wrote.

Didn’t this just happen here, in the USA a couple days ago? I’m not believing in coincidences… something is up,” another said. “An explosion occurred at the ammunition production plant of the British company BAE Systems in Wales…This is the second western ammo plant in 2 days…. the Russians are operating in the west carrying out sabotage,” an X user added.

After Wednesday’s explosion in Wales, BAE Systems said safety protocols were “immediately enacted,” according to the BBC, adding that there were no injuries and production was unaffected. The cause was under investigation, it said.

The Scranton Army ammunition plant released a statement about the fire on Facebook on Monday: “At approximately 3:20 p.m. today, emergency personnel responded to a fire at the heat treat building at Scranton Army Ammunition Plant. The fire has since been extinguished, with no injuries and all personnel accounted for. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. We are currently assessing the damage to determine possible impacts to facilities or production.”

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