7,000 people evacuated from flaming ammunition depot in Russia's Far East

Powerful explosions blew out windows and shook houses not far from the site of the accident

“The territory near the arms depots, where explosions continue to occur, has been cordoned off, local residents have been evacuated, no one has suffered as a result of the accident,” Georgy Romanovich, the chairman of the press service of the North-Eastern Armed Forces of Russia said.

Vice Governor of the Kamchatka region, Yevgeni Laukhin, stated before that over 1200 of 4,500 residents living close to the site of the tragedy had been evacuated. “Other people preferred not to leave their homes being afraid of looters,” the vice governor said.

According to Georgy Romanovich, explosions have become less powerful. “The last powerful explosions rocked the burning ammunition depot two or three hours ago,” said he.

The burning ammunition depots are located some 50 kilometers far from the regional center, the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Officials say that it is still impossible to start extinguishing the fire because of ongoing explosions. “Special services can only observe the area for the time being,” said he.

Spokesmen for the regional department of the Russian EMERCOM told Interfax, however, that about 7,000 people had been evacuated form the dangerous area in the Kamchatka region of Russia's Far East. The most powerful explosions took place in the middle of the night; three of the blasts were especially strong, Interfax said.

No one has been reportedly killed with the explosions. A source from the Internal Affairs Ministry of the region told Interfax that there could be five security guards staying on the site during the time when the depot went ablaze and explosions started. “The security guards could use a bomb shelter on the territory of the ammunition depot. There is no information about them due to the absence of communication,” a spokesman for the source said.

Shards of broken glass seriously cut four people, all of them were hospitalized. Five other people were hospitalized with hypertension strokes.

Special services completed the evacuation of people from the engendered zone of 15 kilometers around the flaming depot.

Explosions on military warehouses in the settlement of Yuzhniye Koryaki started at about 3 a.m. local time. Blast waves blew out many windows and shook houses in several settlements situated not too far from the epicenter of explosions.

Photos by RTR Vesti

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Author`s name Olga Savka