More than 30 homes damaged in military depot fire in Luhansk region

October 30, 2015 11:02 am 

KIEV, Oct. 30 — More than 30 residential buildings have been damaged by fire and dispersion of shell fragments from a burning military ammunition depot in the Svatovo city of Ukraine’s Lugansk region, deputy head of the Luhansk military and civil administration Yuri Klimenko said on Friday.

"Nine five-storey houses, six four-storey and twenty three-storey apartment buildings have been damaged in the city," the Gromadske.TV channel quoted him as saying. A forest fire started in Svatovo suburbs, on the city’s eastern outskirts.

"One of the shells fell on railway tracks 24 kilometers from Svatovo towards Kharkov. The traffic there was suspended," the TV channel reported. To ensure safety in the area, the policemen and military set up posts at the entrances to the city blocking access there to motor vehicles.

Earlier reports suggested that about 3,5000 tons of ammunition for the multiple launch rocket systems Grad, Smerch and Uragan were stored in the depot. The fire area in the military facility territory alone is about 9,000 square meters.

According to 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. There is a soldier under the debris in the base, he is alive, but rescuers cannot reach him," he said.

The law enforcement agencies are considering a terrorist attack as the main version of the incident. According to the head of Lugansk military and civil administration, 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.(PNA/TASS)

BNB/PJN

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