Powerful blasts rip through Russian army ammo depot

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by vikingBerserker, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Powerful blasts rip through Russian army ammo depot - CNN.com

    MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- A series of powerful blasts ignited a fire Friday at a Russian army munitions depot in the outskirts of Ulyanovsk, a city about 900 kilometers (560 miles) east of Moscow, Russian media reported.

    Russian state television showed a series of massive explosions resembling fireworks that, it said, went off about every 30 seconds and could be seen and heard as far as 15 kilometers (over 9 miles) from the scene.

    Several hours after the first explosion, the governor of the Ulyanovsk region, Sergey Morozov, said in an interview with Russian Channel One TV that the fire had been largely contained, and fire brigades and special rescue teams had managed to keep the flames away from most of the facilities in the ammunition depot.

    He said the depot is very large, with "several thousand rail cars" of munitions.

    On its Web site, the Russian Defense Ministry said the initial explosion took place around 4 p.m. (8 a.m. ET) "apparently during the disposal of ammunition" at one of the army's arsenals. "The explosion in one of its workshops led to a fire which spread onto adjacent buildings of the military units," the statement said. "The surrounding area is cordoned off. Fifteen fire brigades ... are trying to localize the fire."

    In a later statement to Russian news agencies, the Defense Ministry said two servicemen were killed in the fire. But the ministry wouldn't speak to CNN on the phone to elaborate.

    The governor's press office told CNN that 43 Russian army servicemen who were at the munitions depot at the time of the explosion were rescued after the fire was contained.

    "They were ushered from the bomb shelter of the depot where they were hiding," a press officer said in a brief phone interview. "They are those people who the governor earlier believed to be missing".

    In the first hours following the explosion Morozov told Russian TV that 35 people were and "hopes were slim" on finding any of them alive.

    The governor's office said it didn't have any casualty figures.

    Morozov earlier had said 20 people had sought medical help and 10 of them had been hospitalized. Russian TV, citing sources at the Emergency Situations Ministry, said 11 people had been reported injured.

    Russian news agency Interfax reported that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told the Health and Social Development Ministry "to organize high-standard and urgent medical assistance to all those injured."

    He also ordered the Emergency Situations Ministry "to take all necessary measures" in helping regional authorities evacuate residents of the area, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Interfax.

    Morozov said that 3,000 residents had been evacuated from buildings surrounding the military depot.

    In a Russian TV interview, he said the explosion was a result of a "breach of a technological process during the disposal of ammunition."

    He said the situation was gradually getting under control. "There are considerably fewer explosions and considerably less fire now, but this doesn't mean it's all over. We'll be fighting the fire at least until tomorrow morning," the governor said.

    Also earlier, Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Alexei Kuznetsov told Interfax that the army facility stored only "conventional and non-chemical ammunition." He also excluded any possibility that the explosion could have been deliberate.

    The Investigative Committee of the Russian Prosecutor's Office told CNN that it had opened a criminal case into the explosion on two charges -- "negligence" and "mishandling of weapons and other dangerous subjects which resulted in the accidental death of two and more people."

    Russian TV said there was no threat of air or water contamination in the area resulting from the accident.
     
  2. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    I don't get it. What's been going on with Russia lately? They've had lots of aircraft incidents and now this? :confused:
     
  3. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Are they back to Soviet-era maintenance practices, or just running out of money to pay for safety precautions?
     
  4. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    The decay of Russia scares me. With Putin the defacto emperor and Russia's infrastructure crumbling with the low oil prices, I worry that her arsenal could get into the wrong hands, improperly trained hands, or revolutionaries. Kinda worrisome actually.
     
  5. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Worrying, the state of Russia is declining.
     
  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2009/11/20091123153440928758.html

    Reported today.

    Second blast at Russia arms depot


    At least eight Russian soliders have been killed after a lorry carrying munitions exploded at an arms depot.

    The military personnel were clearing up after a huge fire earlier this month at the site in Ulyanovsk, about 720km east of Moscow, which killed two emergency workers.
    "Eight soldiers died as the result of a munitions blast at the 31st arsenal of the Russian navy in Ulyanovsk," the Russian defence ministry said on Monday.

    Alexei Kuznetsov, a defence ministry spokesman, said a shell detonated when military personnel were loading ammunition onto a lorry to be taken away and destroyed.
    Military investigators were sent to the city to establish the reason for Monday's blast, the regional military prosecutors told the Interfax news agency.

    Al Jazeera's Neave barker, reporting from Moscow, said: "With this the second blast in as many weeks, there are going to be some serious questions asked in the upper echelons of the Kremlin, I imagine."

    Ageing equipment

    Russia's poorly trained and badly paid military has suffered a number of accidents with their ageing equipment in recent years.

    "These kinds of incidents have been happening sporadically over the last few years, but this is the third such incident in the last two months," Barker said.

    "Russia's armed forces haven't been significantly modernised since the Soviet Union, although President Medvedev called for a complete overhaul of the armed forces at the beginning of the year.

    "These changes, these attempts to modernise Russia's armed forces have been somewhat slow and quite clearly there a number of ageing installations and bases across the country.

    "This incident this afternoon can be directly attributed to the fact that Russia's armed forces need a major cash injection."

    Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, was scheduled to visit Ulyanovsk on Tuesday to meet Ilham Aliyev, his Azeri counterpart.
     
  7. Ferdinand Foch

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    Another one, [email protected]! I'm starting to get worried, since I believe I'm going to Russia next summer.
     
  8. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    If your going to Russia, just stay clear of military depots!

    It's a shame this is happening. In a way, it's a catch 22. On the one hand, I like the fact their military has old, rotting, crappy items. On the other hand, if this stuff starts getting in the wrong hands, it could be trouble, which has been stated above.
     
  9. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Russia deserves better than this! :(
     
  10. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Wonder if they have any nukes still stockpiled in some dusty corner somewhere? That's a disturbing thought, one of those puppies breaking down. I know, it won't go up with a bang, unless set off, but opening a door somewhere and finding yourself pounded by a ton of zoomies (neutrons) would really suck.
     
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