Mass Evacuations After Explosions at Russian Military Depot

Denis Tarakanov  TASS

Denis Tarakanov TASS

Russia's Defense Ministry said a fire triggered the explosions at a storage facility for gunpowder charges near the city of Achinsk in eastern Siberia's Krasnoyarsk region.

The plant is Russia's largest producer of alumina, a raw material which is smelted into aluminum.

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The fire at the base belonging to Russian Military Unit 74008, which manages a territorial arsenal in the village of Kamenka in the central Russian region of Krasnoyarsk began shortly before 1:00 PM local time on August 5, 2019, according to state-run media outlet TASS.

"The territory is cordoned, soldiers can't yet get out of the bomb shelter because explosions continue", a press service official told Interfax Sibir.

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Russia state-run TASS news agency cited a source as saying that at least one Russian soldier was killed.

Rusal, the world's largest aluminum producer outside China, said it had suspended operations at its aluminum plant in the Achinsk district and evacuated all but essential staff as a safety precaution.

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Pictures near the town of Achinisk in the Kransnoyarsk region show flames and smoke rising from the Russian ammunition depot in Siberia. After the most recent incident in May 2018, a fire raged for nearly a week before water drops from military planes and choppers helped put out the blaze.

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