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Firefighters put out blaze engulfing half of fuel tanks at Belgorod petroleum depot

On April 1, two helicopters from the Ukrainian Armed Forces entered Russia’s airspace at a low altitude and carried out two airstrikes on the city

MOSCOW, April 1. /TASS/. Firefighters have extinguished a blaze engulfing half of the fuel tanks at a petroleum terminal in the Russian city of Belgorod. The concentration of harmful substances does not exceed the highest permissible level. No casualties have resulted from the accident, but residents living on three streets adjacent to the facility were evacuated. TASS has put together the main facts about the Belgorod fuel depot fire.

What happened

- Two helicopters from the Ukrainian Armed Forces entered Russia’s airspace at a low altitude and carried out two airstrikes on Belgorod.

- The airstrikes ignited a fire at a petroleum depot belonging to the Belgorodnefteprodukt company. Eight 2,000 cubic meter fuel tanks went up in flames. Local firefighting crews managed to extinguish the blazes engulfing half of them by 12:50 pm Moscow time, efforts to put out the fires continue, an emergency source told TASS.

- The airstrikes also damaged a printing office in the Belgorod Region, though its employees were evacuated.

- The building of the Tekhsapfir company located in the Severny industrial park also suffered damage in the Ukrainian helicopter attack. No casualties were reported, all personnel were evacuated.

- All in all, at least seven sites in the Belgorod Region were damaged.

Blaze at fuel depot

- The Russian Emergencies Ministry’s team involved in efforts to extinguish the blaze consists of 194 members, firefighting activities also involve a firefighting train and 59 pieces of equipment.

- There is a risk that the fire will spread to the remaining fuel tanks, an emergency source told TASS. In total, 27 tanks are situated on the premises, 14 of them store 2,000 cubic meters of fuel each.

- The petroleum depot’s personnel were evacuated, there were no casualties.

- According to the Russian consumer watchdog’s lab, the concentration of harmful substances in the area has not exceeded the highest permissible levels.

Belgorod depot developments

- Nearly 1,200 people were evacuated from homes adjacent to the fuel depot, an emergency source told TASS.

- The evacuees were brought to the Belgorod Arena stadium. Others decided to stay with their relatives.

- Car owners have formed lines at local gas stations. However, there are no fuel issues in the Belgorod Region since all suppliers continue to operate normally, regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov stated.

- Local gas stations will receive gasoline from the Kursk and Voronezh Regions if need be, Russian Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov said.

Emergency response by local authorities

- A task force led by Russia’s Acting Emergencies Minister Alexander Chupriyan is on its way to Belgorod.

- Russian President Vladimir Putin received a report on the situation in the city, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

- The Ukrainian military’s airstrike is not creating "appropriate conditions for further talks" between Moscow and Kiev, Peskov pointed out.