posted on May, 7 2004 @ 07:11 PM
Novobogdanovka - Reports vary, but indicate that five people have died and nine suffered injuries when a fire caused an military storage depot for
ammunition and various missiles to explode, including Grad missiles with a range of 20-km. Explosions are still being reported. At this point, human
error is being blamed for the accident. Residential area's surrounding the base are reported severely damaged, or on fire and littered with debris,
looking like a war zone. Up to 10,000 people have been evacuated.
The blaze is unlikely to be extinguished anytime soon, as rockets, ammunition and shrapnel are still raining down a 10-km (six-mile) radius,
specialist rescue teams or vehicles are unable to get close to the scene. Armored vehicles will try to bring fire-fighting equipment closer to the
site. Russia will be sending a team of specialists to the region, the US has also offered help.
The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, the biggest in Europe, located at a distance of 40-km from the disaster site, was put on alert. Ukraine's Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych has assured the public that it's out of danger.
The Greater Anatol-Melitopol gas pipeline, two kilometers from the blast site also caught fire. Flames from the pipeline are said to reach a height of
40 to 50 meters.
Spokesman for the state gas monopoly Naftohaz Dmytro Marunych said a Grad missile hit a natural-gas pipeline in the area, cutting off all gas
supplies to the nearby city of Melitopol.
Ukrainian Defence Minister Yevhen Marchuk admitted: "Such fires cannot be extinguished."
“A fire broke out at Defense Ministry warehouses near Novobohdanivka village, where large amounts of ammunition were stored. The ammunition then
detonated,” ministry spokesman Oleh Oleksandriv told Reuters.
The Russia Journal
This can be seen as an indicator of the poor state of the ex-USSR's armies and their facilities, in my opinion.
[Edited on 5-7-2004 by Valhall]