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Evacuation continues in east Ukrainian city amid fire at ammunition depot

October 30, 2015, 9:29 UTC+3 KIEV
The ammunition depot was storing about 3,500 tons of ammunition for Grad, Smerch and Uragan multiple launch rocket systems
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KIEV, October 30. /TASS/. About 200 people have been evacuated from the city of Svatovo in Ukraine’s Luhansk region where an ammunition depot is on fire, the head of the region’s military and civil administration said on Friday.

According to Georgy Tuka, all people were evacuated to a neighbouring district. "Aircraft will fly over the area for further coordination of activity," he told 112 Ukraine television, noting that although the intensity of explosions was decreasing, evacuation would be continued.

The fire began at about 19:30 local time (20:30 Moscow time) on Thursday at a depot where about 3,500 tons of ammunition for the multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) Grad, Smerch and Uragan were stored. The fire area in the military facility territory alone is about 9,000 square metres.

According to the city mayor Yevgeny Rybalko, two dead and four injured have been reported so far. "A woman - shop assistant, was killed by a shell fragment. A man was also killed. Four people have been injured," he said.

The law enforcement agencies are considering a terrorist attack as the main version of the incident. According to Georgy Tuka, the fire started as a result of a flare pistol shot. "According to preliminary data, there were two shots from a flare pistol. While the efforts to extinguish the first flare were underway, another shot was made that caused the depot fire," he said.

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