One of ukraine’s largest military depots went up in flames in a spectacular fire. The fire set off explosions of artillery shells and rockets about 200 kilometers southwest of kiev near the town of kalynivka in the vinnytsia region.
Two people were injured and taken to hospital, local authorities said this morning. More than 30.000 people were brought to safety from the surrounding area.
Up to 188.000 tons of ammunition are said to have been stored in the arsenal. Ukrainian leadership suspects arson attack. Presidential advisor juri biryukov said the warehouse may have been attacked with a drone. A sentry reported a strange noise, followed by an explosion, wrote biryukov on facebook. In addition, the military expert wrote of arrests. There was initially no independent confirmation of the statements made.
President petro poroshenko scheduled a meeting for the afternoon with representatives of numerous security agencies. In eastern ukraine, government troops have been fighting russian-backed separatists since 2014. According to the UN, more than 10 people were killed in the war.000 people killed.
The general staff announced in the morning that the explosions had decreased. Around 700 firefighters, police officers and military personnel were involved in the rescue and security work. The railroad provided three lorries and the army two armored tanks.
Within a ten-kilometer radius of the arsenal, helpers bussed thousands of residents to safety, according to civil defense officials. The people were distributed on school buildings. Occasionally, residential buildings also caught fire, but the fires could be extinguished. The airspace was closed in the radius of 50 kilometers, also an airport was closed; to delayed.
"We will do our best to minimize the consequences of this accident," said minister-president vladimir groisman. The responsible persons had to be found. The military said that 70 percent of the camp had been spared.
Already in march, a fire in a weapons depot in the city of balakliya in eastern ukraine led to days of explosions. One person was killed, four others were injured. More than 200 residential buildings were damaged, 20.000 residents had to be brought to safety. The cause was not fully explained, the government assumed sabotage even at that time. The damage was estimated at slightly more than three million euros.
Experts saw the defense capability of the country endangered afterwards. At least three ammunition depots have exploded in ukraine in the past two years.