Combat engineers examine Pacific Fleet arsenal near Vladivostok

At dawn, combat engineers started examining the Pacific Fleet's arsenal where ammunition was still exploding. The arsenal is located outside Vladivostok.

According to the Maritime Territorial Department for Civil Defence and Emergencies, the fire has been extinguished at two sites of the Vladivostok arsenal of the Pacific Fleet. Fire brigades and medics left the scene, although the arsenal was guarded heavily by army servicemen, police and rescuers throughout last night.

As was previously reported, the arsenal caught fire on Wednesday during an operation to destroy old ammunition. As a result of a violation of instructions, the ammunition caught fire and subsequently started exploding in a closed room. A total of about 12 carriages with artillery shells inside went off as a result of the emergency.

The military prosecutor's office of the Vladivostok garrison has instituted criminal proceedings under the Criminal Negligence article. An investigation into the case has been launched.

That was the third large-scale fire at the Pacific Fleet's ammunition depots over the past 3 years. In May 1992, fire destroyed about 1,050 carriages with ammunition leaving one man dead and another six heavily wounded. The second large-scale fire occurred in 1994 at the Novonezhino fleet arsenal located near the trans-Siberian mainline. As a result, 7 houses in the nearby villages were destroyed.

In April 1998, fire broke out in the Pogranichny district near the Baranovo-Orenburgskoye village in the immediate vicinity of military warehouses of the 5th combined army. The fire spread to an artillery arsenal where shells started going off, to hangars with military equipment and to combustive-lubricating reserves. Highly professional actions of firemen helped to rapidly extinguish the fire with no tragic consequences.

At present, there are several dozens of military arsenals in the Maritime Territory.

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