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Explosions at Russian military base cause mass evacuation

A fire triggered a number of blasts at a military depot in southern Russia, injuring about 30 people and causing the evacuation of more than 6,000 from a nearby village, investigators and emergency workers said. No cause has yet been determined for the fire at the Chapaevsk military depot in the Samara region on June 19.

Russian federal authorities said it was set off by the explosion of shells at the depot.

Russian munitions, which frequently date back to the Soviet era, have caused a number of barracks and munitions dump explosions in recent years; in Russia and the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and in former Soviet client states in Africa.

In October a soldier caused a devastating fire at an ammunition depot by dropping a cigarette butt. In other cases shells have exploded during munitions disposal.

The emergencies ministry said about 30 people had sought medical help and 11 of them were taken to hospital, while more than 6,000 people were evacuated from the village of Nagorny. More than 600 emergency workers were needed to put out the fire, the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

For a wider look at the issues related to munitions dump explosions, see the link below.

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