MOSCOW, October 7. /TASS/. An ammunition depot went on fire on the territory of a military garrison near Ryazan in central Russia, with sporadic explosions taking place, the press office of the Western Military District reported on Wednesday.
The blaze occurred near the settlement of Zheltukhino after the grass caught fire, the press office said.
"A gusty wind spread the fire to the artillery ammunition storage site. The military garrison’s on-duty fire-fighting team started to extinguish the blaze but failed to stop the fire outbreak. Sporadic munition explosions are currently observed on the technical premises of the military base," the Western Military District said.
Reports from the scene say that the military and civilian personnel have been evacuated and there are no injuries.
According to an emergency service source, the fire continues to spread because of wind gusts and the shells are exploding nearly every ten seconds. "The fire has not been contained and the shells are exploding about every ten seconds," the source said.
The local fire-fighting and rescue service has sent teams and a fire-fighting train to the scene of the incident. An Il-76 plane of Russia’s Emergencies Ministry is ready to join the fire-fighting effort.
Traffic on the R-22 "Kaspiy" highway has been halted. According to the Emergencies Ministry, over 1,600 locals, including almost 150 children, have been evacuated from 14 settlements in the Ryazan Region. "According to preliminary data, over 1,600 people have been evacuated from 14 settlements," the Ministry's press service said.
"Evacuation has been organized in cooperation with Skopinsky District's authorities," the regional government disclosed. "First and foremost, all children have been evacuated from the settlements: 130 schoolchildren and 16 younger children. All of them are currently with their relatives, in a safe zone."