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Artillery shells explode at arms depot in Orenburg rgn

June 11, 2012, 20:32 UTC+3

Artillery shells are exploding at a blazing arms depot in the Orenburg region

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MOSCOW, June 11 (Itar-Tass) —— Artillery shells are exploding at a blazing arms depot in the Orenburg region.

Fragments fly as far as 4 kilometres from the depot. The nearest settlement is 14 kilometres away, the regional department of the Emergencies Ministry told Itar-Tass on Monday, June 11.

No casualties have been reported among the civilian population. The Defence Ministry said earlier that one of the servicemen received light brain contusion. He has been hospitalised and his life is out of danger.

His military unit has been evacuatedSixty-five children and 16 adults have also been evacuated from the children’s camp in the area of the incident to the town of Buzuluk.

The fire started at an artillery ammunition depot 14 kilometres from the town of Koltubanovsky.

The press service of the Main Department of the Emergencies Ministry in the Orenburg Region said a fire train has been dispatched from Samara to the scene of the incident.

The chief spokesman for the Volga Regional Centre of the Emergencies Ministry, Oleg Zugeyev, told Itar-Tass that the depots belong to one of the military units and occupy an area of 83 hectares.

“These depots are made of reinforced concrete. An investigation is underway to find out whether the ammunition detonated because of hot weather,” he said.

The fire was reported in the Buzuluk District at 16:20 Moscow time.

Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has sent a commission led by his deputy, General of the Army Dmitry Bulgakov to the scene of the incident.

The Emergencies Ministry has sent two planes to help fight the fire. One more plane is being prepared for a similar mission. It will carry five psychologists, 28 specialists from the Lider centre and four rescuers.

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