MOSCOW, May 18 (Itar-Tass) —— The State Duma Defense Committee has proposed the allocation of 30 billion rubles for better storing of munitions in 2012, Committee Chairman Vladimir Komoyedov (the Communist Party) told Itar-Tass in comment on the Friday explosions at an ammunition depot in the Primorye territory.
“The committee has repeatedly summoned heads of the Defense and Finance Ministries to tell them about the insufficient fire and explosion security of ammunition depots. Some storage facilities are in a condition close to catastrophic. We also told them that the absence of modern storages of rockets and munitions protected from cruise missiles, air strikes and terrorists endangered the country’s military security,” he said.
“Deputies of the Defense Committee proposed an amendment to the draft budget 2012-2014, which would ensure timely financing of the departmental target program, “Upgraded Infrastructure of Storages of Rockets, Munitions and Explosives”,” Komoyedov said. However, Deputy Finance Minister Tatiana Nesterenko said that a decision on the funding of the program would be made after the program was approved, he said.
“The Russian Finance Ministry has not coordinated the program because of the absence of funds in the budget 2012 for that purpose,” the deputy said. “The deficit of shortage space results in the annual procurement of only 3,600 tonnes of munitions per year on condition the munitions are stored at the manufacturing plants.”
The fire at the depot storing 100-millimeter artillery munitions broke out at 5:20 p.m. local time (10:20 a.m. Moscow time) seven kilometers east of Sungach and 280 kilometers northeast of Vladivostok. About 2,000 people were evacuated from Dukhovskoye, Sungach, Zelenodolskoye and Novorusanovka.
Assistant to the Eastern Military District Commander Lt. Col. Alexander Gordeyev told Itar-Tass that the explosions hurt one serviceman. “A conscript sustained a light arm injury. He was rushed to the military hospital in Spassk-Dalny and given medical aid. His life is not in danger,” he said.
He said the explosions were over and only small spots of fire remained.
“Armored fire trucks and engineering vehicles will arrive in the morning to reconnoiter the terrain. Also the area will be poured with water in the morning before it is cleared of dud munitions,” he said.