Fire at Ukraine ammunition depot prompts mass evacuation

AP Photo
The Associated Press

KALYNIVKA, Ukraine (AP) — A huge fire at an ammunition depot in central Ukraine has set off a series of explosions and prompted an evacuation of thousands of people, officials said Wednesday.

Authorities evacuated 30,000 people from the town of Kalynivka, 190 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of the capital, Kiev, and turned off the electricity and gas supply after the depot at a military base there caught fire late on Tuesday.

The powerful explosions late Tuesday created massive fireballs that lit up the night sky. Hours later, smoke was seen billowing Wednesday morning. Four residential buildings were damaged by fire but no casualties have been reported.

Andriy Ageyev, spokesman of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, told the 112 television station that munitions at the military base in Kalynivka were still detonating at the military base late Wednesday morning. But Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, who arrived to the area early Wednesday, said on local television the situation is under control.

Olena Gitlyanska, spokesman for the Ukrainian Security Service, told the Unian news agency that they are treating the fire as sabotage. She didn’t provide further details.

President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday morning called for an urgent meeting of the country’s top brass to discuss the situation.

In a similar incident in March, a fire at a military depot in Ukraine’s east raged for hours and prompted an evacuation of over 20,000 people.

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