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Author Topic: Major fire at Russia arms depot  (Read 1929 times)


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« on: 13 November 2009, 22:15:54 »

At least two people have been killed after a series of explosions at the Ulyanovsk arms depot in central Russia, officials say.

At least two people have been killed after a series of explosions at an arms depot in central Russia, officials say.

A fire at a defence ministry navy arsenal on the outskirts of the city of Ulyanovsk caused blasts which shattered windows of nearby homes.

But officials now say that 43 people missing feared dead have been found safe in a bomb shelter near the site.

Some 3,000 people were evacuated from the surrounding area, the local governor was quoted as saying.

The depot is about 900km (550 miles) south-east of the capital, Moscow.

Arsenal Inferno: Massive arms stock blast in Russia

Station closed

Two firefighters died at the Arsenal 31 depot after the blasts, Ulyanovsk Governor Sergei Morozov told the BBC.

Mr Morozov was earlier quoted in Russian media as saying that at least 10 people were taken to hospital.

The ministry of defence said that 43 missing people had been found safe and well in the bomb shelter.

Explosions at the depot continued into the night, with TV footage of the area showing intermittent blasts sending thick plumes of smoke high into the air.

The fire started at around 1600 local time (1300 GMT) while ammunition was being disposed of at the site, the regional Federal Security Service were reported as saying by Itar-Tass news agency.

Firefighters at the scene were battling the blaze several hours after it started.

A large exclusion zone has been set up around the depot.

The Federal Security Service advised Ulyanovsk residents to buy gauze masks and stock up on drinking water, but added that the situation was under control.

However, Mr Morozov was quoted by Russia's Vesti-24 television as saying that such measures were unnecessary because no chemical weapons were involved in the explosions.

A railway station 3km (1.8 miles) away from the depot was closed as a result of the fire, the report said.

A criminal investigation into the accident is under way.

Ulyanovsk sits beside the Volga river and is the birthplace of Vladimir Lenin.
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