Ukraine: Thousands evacuated after fire and explosions at ammunition depot near Kiev

09 Octobre, 2018, 12:52 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Smoke rises after a fire and explosions hit the Ukrainian defence ministry ammunition depot in the eastern Chernigov region

Almost 10,000 people were evacuated on Tuesday after a fire and explosions at a defence ministry ammunition depot near Ukrainian Capital Kiev, Reuters reported.

Authorities have blamed the blasts on "sabotage", and the government has allocated 100 million hryvnias ($3.6 million) for the protection of the country's ammunition storage facilities.

Around 10,000 people were moved from the area around the depot, about 109 miles (176km) north-east of the capital Kiev, emergency services say. The size of the area affected was not known.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman tweeted that local authorities would provide accommodation for the evacuated, and that emergency services were on hand to help people.

Video posted on the emergency services website showed smoke rising up to regular thudding sounds of explosions.

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Nearly 12,000 people were evacuated from the area at risk, including the inhabitants of 38 villages, regional authorities said, while gas and electricity were cut off to prevent accidents. The president has called for a report. Rail and road links in the area are also suspended, and gas and electricity supplies have been disrupted.

Military prosecutors opened a probe into possible negligence by officials, Interfax Ukraine news agency reported.

There have been several large fires at ammunition and weapons depots in recent years, an additional drain on Ukraine's military, which has been fighting Russian-backed separatists in eastern regions since 2014.

Past year massive explosions at a military depot in Vinnytsia region, 270 km west of Kyiv, forced the authorities to evacuate 24,000 people.

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