4 Jun 2011

Munitions fire in Russia

6:33 am on 4 June 2011

Nearly 30,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in central Russia where firefighters are tackling a blaze at an arms depot.

The fire - the second at a munitions store in the past week - has injured at least 28 people.

The BBC reports that shells detonated by the blaze, caused windows to shatter 10km away.

The arms depot, which stored artillery shells and rockets and and ammunition, is in the Udmurtia region of the western Urals, 900km east of Moscow.

The fire has interrupted the flow of oil along a nearby pipeline. Some reports suggest the blaze may have been sparked by a discarded cigarette.

This is the second time in a week that a Russian ammunition dump has exploded.

An arms depot caught fire in the Russian region of Bashkiria at the end of May.