Explosions, Fire At Russian Ammunition Depot Prompts Mass Evacuation
August 05, 2019
A series of explosions has rocked an arms depot at a Russian military base in Siberia, injuring eight people and prompting a mass evacuation of residents and the suspension of operations by a nearby aluminum producer.
Russia's Defense Ministry said on August 5 that it had sent 14 remote-controlled robots to help fight the fire at the Krasnoyarsk Territory Arsenal.
Local officials in the Achinsk district of Russia's Krasnoyarsk region say 11,000 people were evacuated from neighborhoods near the artillery munitions depot following the explosions and an outbreak of fire earlier in the day.
Photographs of the incident show a huge explosion on the horizon with flames leaping into the sky, followed by belching black smoke.
Russia state-run TASS news agency cited a source as saying that at least one Russian soldier was killed.
But a source from Russia's Defense Ministry, quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency, denied the report about the soldier's death.
Rusal, the world's largest aluminum producer outside China, said it had suspended operations at its aluminum plant in the Achinsk district and evacuated all but essential staff as a safety precaution.
The refinery is located about 30 kilometers from the military base where the explosions occurred.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, AP, Interfax, and TASS
Copyright (c) 2019. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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