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Two servicemen and eight locals killed in ammo explosions in Zabaykalsky Krai

April 30, 2014, 10:36 UTC+3 CHITA
Four dead bodies have been have been pulled away and another six are in the danger zone
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© Photo of the main office of Russia's Emergencies Ministry in Zabaikalsky Territory

CHITA, April 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Two servicemen and eight local residents have been killed as a result of ammunition explosions and an ensuing fire in Karymskoye District of Zabaikalsky Krai (Trans-Baikal Territory). Fyodor Kurguzkin, Head of Regional Department for civil defense and fire prevention said this on Wednesday. He added that among the victims was the commander of a military unit from Bolshaya Tura village, where the tragedy occurred. There are also four women among the victims.

A truck with ten casualties was found at dawn on the technical territory of an arsenal at a military unit in Russian Siberia’s Trans-Baikal Territory. According to preliminary reports, the truck with people happened to be in the epicenter of a sudden ammunition blast, chief press officer of the Russian Defense Ministry Maj. Gen Igor Konashenkov told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday.

“A commander of the material-technical supply center, a contract serviceman accompanying him and eight people from civil personnel of a military unit and military guard service of the ammunition depot were found dead in car from a military unit,” he said.

Konashenkov noted that according to preliminary reports “eight people including military security guards and workers of a military unit happened to be cut from a safe entry out of the fire area due a lightning-like fire spread from the forest on the territory of the military arsenal.

“The commander of the military-technical supply centre decided to take them away by a service truck from the ammunition depot to a safe place,” the general said, adding that “When leaving the fire area the truck with people turned out to be in the epicenter of a sudden blast after which it has burnt down for several minutes.”

Meanwhile, after a fire and several blasts on the territory of a military unit in the village of Bolshaya Tura in Karymskoye district of Trans-Baikal Territory around 25 people sought medical aid, the press service of the regional government reported on Wednesday.

“Thirteen people were injured in the blast. Three of them have got grave injuries, other three people — moderate-to-severe injuries, seven people — light injuries. Two children aged two and 16 years have got light injuries. Six people work in the personnel of the military unit,” the press service noted.

Nine people were taken to hospital with injuries and burns. Two of them were taken to the Chita city hospital, other two people - to the territorial hospital, three people — to Karymskoye central district hospital, one person was taken to the territorial restoration treatment hospital and the central district hospital each in the settlement of Duldurg. Four injured people are in heavy condition.

Meanwhile, two pregnant women sought medical aid at 35-37 weeks of pregnancy with a threat of premature delivery amid a stress as well as two local residents with acute chronic peripheral vascular disease.

More than 2,000 people, including more than 700 children were evacuated from three villages in the danger zone.

According to latest reports, ten people, including two servicemen and eight civilians died in the incident.

The Defense Ministry’s spokesman noted that the fire at an engineering ammunition depot of the Eastern Military District in Trans-Baikal Territory had been put out by now. “Military staff and special machinery are pouring water on the territory of the arsenal and the nearby forest,” the ministry’s chief press officer said, adding that “Thanks to qualified actions of servicemen and emergency groups a fire at a large fuel and lubricants storage next to the ammunition depot was prevented in fire-fighting efforts last night.

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Defense Minister General Dmitry Bulgakov, who heads the emergency headquarters at the incident site, said that all fires had been put out on the territory of a military unit, ammunition and fuel depots did not pose a threat to people.

“Quite many efforts were taken to protect fuel storage and an engineering ammunition depot from the fire,” he said, noting that “At the present moment all fires are put out there, neither an ammunition depot nor a fuel storage pose a threat to people.”

“We have already completed fire-fighting efforts,” he added.

Bulgakov noted that the weather had affected drastically developments in the fire situation on Tuesday. “Yesterday the winds reached no less than 25 meters per second. The fire was spreading on the tree crowns and on the upper part of the ammunition depot then,” the deputy defense minister said.

In his words, seven helicopters are working at the incident site “to clean up the fire aftermath in the forest.” “Eight airplanes Ilyushin Il-76, including four of them from Ulan-Ude and four from Belaya in Irkutsk region will also start working soon,” Bulgakov said.

More than 500 people and around 1,700 units of machinery are involved in the fire-fighting efforts, he added.

The deputy minister noted that “the train traffic on the Trans-Baikal Mainline is opened in both directions” from the east and to the east as of 3.50am Moscow time on Wednesday.

“According to our estimates, we will make a field engineering check of nearby settlements before noon local time and people will be able to come home,” the deputy defense minister noted.

Bulgakov noted that all facilities at the fire site “were prepared in terms of fire safety.” “For the purpose I and the territorial governor have flown over all facilities, all of them were prepared in terms of fire safety,” he added.

“The reason for the fire is gusts of wind and crown forest fire,” the deputy defense minister noted.

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