Huge explosion at Ukraine ammunition depot prompts mass evacuation

More than 30,000 people have been evacuated after a blaze ripped through an ammunition depot in central Ukraine in what Kiev authorities called an act of “sabotage.”

The blaze at a military base near Kalynivka in the Vinnytsa region, about 110 mile southwest of Kiev, is the second massive explosion at a weapons storage site this year.

Footage from the scene showed pillars of flame and mushroom clouds curling above the base as explosions occurred every few seconds. Rockets could be seen launching at random into the skies around the base.

Authorities said on Wednesday morning that two people had been injured. No one has yet been reported killed by the blasts.

Volodymyr Groysman, the Ukrainian prime minister, flew to the scene to overnight at on the instructions of Petro Poroshenko, the president.

“This is the arsenal of the Ukrainian army, and I think it was no accident that it was destroyed,” Mr Groysman said in televised remarks.

Earlier the SBU, the Ukrainian security service, said it suspected the fire was an act of sabotage.

The Ukrainian army said on its Facebook page that the fire began at about 10 pm local time (7 pm GMT), on Tuesday evening.

Police evacuated 30,000 people from the surrounding area, including patients from local hospitals, and closed airspace in a radius of 30 miles around the site.

About 100 conscript soldiers were evacuated from the base itself.

Photographs from the scene showed several houses and vehicles destroyed by debris or rogue shells.

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Source: The Telegraph