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VLADIVOSTOK, May 19 (Itar-Tass) — The fire at the artillery depot in the Primorye Territory was completely put out, and sappers started cleaning the grounds, reported the press service of the Promorye branch of the Russian Ministry for Emergencies.
A Be-200 plane dropped water five times on open seats of fire during the day this Saturday. When they were extinguished, armour and sappers moved in to the depot grounds; and the latter got convinced that the facility was safe. Then firefighters joined the operation. They are now flushing the depot premises with water.
According to the press service of the Eastern Military District, 40 sappers are working at the place of the incident to inspect both the depot grounds and houses in nearby villages. According to preliminary information, 20 wagons with shells were destroyed.
There is a probability that shells could fly over the surrounding area during the fire. Therefore, villagers were requested, when spotting suspicious articles, to use a telephone “hot line”.
The fire at the depot of 100mm artillery shells flared up on Friday at 17.20 local time seven kilometers away from the village of Sungach and 280 kilometres north-east of Vladivostok, the capital city of the Primorye Territory. Ammunition started exploding. According to preliminary data, one serviceman was injured.
Some 1,800 people were evacuated from four nearby villages: Sungach, Dukhovskoye, Novorussanovka and Zelenodolye. Villagers are now returning to their homes. Two groups of psychologists continue working at the area of the incident: from the Far Eastern branch of the Centre of Urgent Psychological Aid and the Primorye branch of the Russian Ministry for Emergencies.