Russian arms blast kills 8

2009-11-23 19:04

Moscow - At least eight people were killed and two injured on Monday when munitions exploded at a Russian navy arms depot, the second such incident at the same arsenal in 10 days, a spokesperson for the Defence Ministry said.

The explosions took place at Arsenal Number 31 in the Russian city of Ulyanovsk, a city of 635 000 people about 800km southeast of Moscow.

"Eight people were killed and two injured while loading munitions for decommissioning," said a Defence Ministry spokesperson.

The spokesperson said the blast took place at 14:30 (11:30 GMT).

Russia's poorly trained and badly paid military had suffered frequent accidents with their ageing equipment in recent years. Western military attaches say safety standards are low.

Previous mishaps in the Russian armed forces have sometimes led to sackings of senior generals and military officials.