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Siberia’s Trans-Baikal territory bids last farewells to fire, ammo blast victims

May 04, 2014, 9:18 UTC+3 CHITA

The mourning ceremony started at noon local time and lasted two hours

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CHITA, May 04 /ITAR-TASS/. The settlement of Darasun in Siberia’s Trans-Baikal Territory bids last farewells to ten victims in a fire and blasts at an engineering ammunition depot in the village of Bolshaya Tura. The mourning ceremony is being held at the local house of culture, Bolshaya Tura head Yuri Fedoseyev told Itar-Tass on Sunday.

The mourning ceremony started at noon local time (6 am Moscow time) and lasted two hours. Governor Konstantin Ilkovsky, Chair of the territorial Legislative Assembly Natalia Zhdanova, members of territorial government and representatives of armed forces participated in the ceremony. “Relatives decided to hold funerals in the settlement of Darasun and the village of Bolshaya Tura,” the regional governor’s press service noted.

After a mourning rally and a church burial service two demised servicemen will be taken to the Chita airport from where military transport airplanes will bring them to their native cities of Irkutsk and Kaliningrad, Karymskoye district head Aleksey Sidelnikov said.

“We will pay last tribute to these people. Meanwhile, we have forwarded an initiative to the Command of the Eastern Military District and the Defence Ministry to award deceased servicemen with governmental medals posthumously. As they did everything to minimise the aftermath of the incident at the cost of their lives. But for their qualified actions the situation could have deteriorated,” Ilkovsky noted.

Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu decided that “personnel of the military arsenal who performed their duty to the very end in fire-fighting and died in fighting the blaze are presented with state medals posthumously,” the press service of the Russian Defence Ministry said earlier. “The Defence Ministry will give material aid of 500 thousand roubles (around $13.9 thousand) to each family of all demised people,” the press service said.

Territorial authorities will pay one million roubles (around $27.9 thousand) to each family of eight civil independent workers who died in the fire and ammunition blasts at a military depot in the village of Bolshaya Tura. Allowances are made from the reserve fund of regional government. Each family will also receive 30 thousand roubles (around $839) for funerals from territorial budget. Each of three heavily injured people at the military arsenal fire will be paid 200 thousand roubles (around $5.5 thousand).

A day of mourning was announced in Trans-Baikal Territory on May 4. Russian state flags and flags of Trans-Baikal Territory are lowered half-mast in the region, all entertainment programmes and events are cancelled.

A fire broke out at an ammunition depot near the settlements of Bolshaya Tura and Kadakhta on April 29 that triggered more than 20 ammunition blasts. Ten people died, particularly two servicemen, including the ammunition depot chief, and eight civilians, including four women in the ammunition explosions. Thirty-three people sought medical aid, 15 of them were taken to hospital, including three injured people in heavy condition and five in moderate-to-severe condition, the regional government press service reported. An officer wounded in the demining operation in the village of Bolshaya Tura was reported dead on Saturday.

On May 1, regional authorities permitted all local residents to come back home. Restoration works continue, the special committee is estimating damages.

Criminal cases were opened into causing death through negligence, destruction of military property through negligence and negligence that entailed death of two and more people.

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