Ukraine ammunition depot explosion: 24,000 people evacuated after Kalynivka blasts

Prime Minister says 'external factors' behind blasts

Samuel Osborne
Wednesday 27 September 2017 09:11
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A powerful explosion is seen in the ammunition depot at a military base in Kalynivka, west of Kiev, Ukraine
A powerful explosion is seen in the ammunition depot at a military base in Kalynivka, west of Kiev, Ukraine

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated after massive explosions and a blaze at a military ammunition depot in central Ukraine.

Ukranian emergency services said the blasts occurred at a military base near Kalynivka in the Vynnytsya region, 270km (168 miles) west of Kiev.

One person was injured, it said.

More than 30,000 people have been bussed out of the area by authorities. The electricity and gas supply has also been switched off.

Smoke and flames rise over a warehouse storing ammunition for multiple rocket launcher systems

Arriving in the region hours later, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said "external factors" were behind the explosion.

He said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

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

President Petro Poroshenko 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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