Fire at Ukrainian ammunition depot blamed on possible sabotage
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 9/27/17, 08:39 am
A Ukrainian emergency response agency evacuated 30,000 people from their homes in central Ukraine after a huge fire late Tuesday set off several explosions at a military ammunition depot. Officials on Wednesday said the government has closed the airspace over the region and will investigate the fire as possible sabotage. The explosions occurred at a military base near Kalynivka, 120 miles southwest of Kiev. The fire damaged four residential buildings, and Ukraine’s emergency service reports of at least one injury. Andriy Ageyev, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, told a local television station that munitions at the military installation continued to detonate late Wednesday morning. Local media reported the depot stored about 188,000 tons of ammunition, including rockets for Grad multiple grenade launchers. Olena Gitlyanska, a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Security Service, told the Unian news agency that sabotage is suspected. Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman agreed, calling an urgent meeting with his Cabinet Wednesday and saying that “external factors” were behind the attack. Ukrainian government forces have fought separatists backed by Russia in eastern Ukraine since April 2014. The conflict has resulted in 10,000 killed and the displacement of more than a million people.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.