Explosion Strikes Unused Ammunition Dump in Saudi Arabia

Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Commanders from the United Kingdom, France and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia visit Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sept. 9, 2020. (Cary Smith/U.S. Air Force)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — An explosion Wednesday in Saudi Arabia struck what authorities described as an ammunition dump containing “unserviceable munitions.” Videos showed sparks, flames and smoke shooting out of a desert location southeast of Riyadh near a major air base.

The blast happened at 5:10 a.m. as the sun rose over the city of Kharj, Brig. Gen. Turki al-Malki said, according to a report by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. He described the blast as an accident.

“Thankfully, no damages or injuries have occurred,” al-Malki said. "The incident is being monitored by competent authorities.”

Kharj is close to Prince Sultan Air Base, which has some 2,500 American troops now manning fighter jets and Patriot missile batteries to counter Iran. U.S.

Air Force Capt. Rachel Buitrago told The Associated Press that no American troops were affected by the blast and that they stood ready to assist the kingdom if needed after the blast.

Story Continues