Blasts shake Russian region

2011-06-03 09:51
Moscow - Shells are exploding and tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes as fire blazes through an ammunition depot in central Russia.

Russian news reports say at least 28 people have been injured in the blaze and explosions that started late on Thursday at the arsenal in the republic of Udmurtia, some 900km east of Moscow.

Nearly 30 000 people were reported to have been evacuated from the surrounding area. Explosions broke windows in buildings as far as 10km from the arsenal.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately determined.

Deputy Defence Minister Gen Dmitry Bulgakov told the ITAR-Tass news agency that the arsenal stores a small number of artillery rockets, but they are not in danger of exploding.

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