Massive Explosion Reported at Russian Military Site, Evacuations Ordered

August 5, 2019 Updated: August 5, 2019

Massive explosions were reported at a storage facility for gunpowder near the Siberian city of Achinsk, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed.

According to German news outlet DW, some 6,000 residents were evacuated within the vicinity. Towns and villages within a 12-mile radius were also evacuated.

A state of emergency was declared in the Krasnoyarsk region.

Videos posted on Twitter apparently showed the explosions that sent plumes of black smoke into the air.

One video appeared to show a shockwave after the initial blast.

The Associated Press reported that air traffic was suspended within about 18 miles of the ammunition site.

Krasnoyarsk governor Alexander Uss said that five to eight people were injured, DW reported.

“There is no threat to their lives,” he was quoted as saying by the news website.

In May 2018, an ammunition depot exploded in Russia, and a fire lasted for several days before the military was able to contain it.

The Siberian Times wrote that a children’s “summer camp situated right next to the explosion area is getting evacuated.”

Local social media photos show traffic jams after locals tried to flee the city, according to the report.

It noted that Achinsk is an industrial city around a population of 100,000 located near the Trans-Siberian railway.

Another Blast

Some 79 people were injured when several blasts at the explosives plant Kristall shook the central Russian town of Dzerzhinsk in June, the Russian health ministry said.

The blasts, around midday (local time), was heard all over the town of more than 230,000 residents and shock waves smashed or damaged windows in around 180 buildings, city authorities told TASS news agency.

Social media posts on Twitter showed footage of a plume of smoke rising over the explosives factory.

The Kristall plant said that its director had been fired “literally a day before” the blasts for violating industrial safety rules earlier in the year, Interfax reported.

He was blamed for an explosion that occurred in April and also destroyed a section of the plant.

Of the injured, 38 were at the plant when the blasts occurred, but 41 local residents from outside the factory, many hit by broken glass, also requested medical help.

The health ministry said that 15 of all the injured were taken to hospitals, mostly with fragment wounds. One of them, a woman, suffers a severe injury.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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