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MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. In South Ossetia, propelling charges exploded inside a self-propelled artillery piece on the way to a testing range on Wednesday. The crew managed to leave the vehicle shortly before that. Nobody was hurt, the press-service of the Southern Military District has told TASS.
"The engine of a self-propelled artillery piece caught fire while an artillery unit from the 4th Russian military base (the Republic of South Ossetia) was on the way to a testing range. The crew promptly left the vehicle and was taken to safety. The burning vehicle was cordoned off. Powder charges inside detonated. The artillery piece burnt down. There were no casualties," the Southern Military District said.
A source in South Ossetia’s government earlier denied an explosion at Russia’s military base near Tskhinval.
The official told TASS on the phone a routine procedure of eliminating ammunition was in progress.
"According to the available information a routine operation is underway to dispose of expired ammunition," the source said.
Earlier, witnesses told TASS they had heard an explosion in the area of the Russian base, adding that the blast wave rattled windows in buildings around.