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Arms depot catches fire in Russia, over 28.000 evacuated !

"Over 28 thousand people were evacuated from their homes in Russia's Volga republic of Udmurtia as fire fighters battled a raging blaze and blasts in an underground arms depot storing 10,000 tonnes of shells.

Thirty people were injured in the series of blasts at the depot as more than 100 fire fighters tried to control the fire raging since last night, the regional emergencies officials said.

This is the second ammunition dump blast in a week in Russia.

Last week in Udmurtia's neighbouring republic of Bashkortostan, fifty houses were razed to the ground, and 160 people were left homeless as a result of powerful explosions at another ammunition depot.

Last night at around 1:20 am IST (11:50 pm Moscow time) shells began to explode in the artillery depot belonging to the army's missile and artillery munitions disposal facility near the village of Pugachevo in Udmurtia.

Almost 10,000 people were evacuated overnight from the town of Agryz in the neighbouring Republic of Tatarstan, as the area was declared to be within the blast wave radius.

The city residents were allowed to return to their homes in the morning, RIA Novosti reported.

The blast-hit facility stores from 5,000 to 10,000 railway carriages with various ammunition. It is believed that 18 storage facilities are on fire.

A total of 200 personnel, 30 fire fighting units and three fire fighting trains have been deployed, although it was early to move them to the still exploding depot, Vesti TV channel said.

The Russian emergencies ministry has also rushed two Il-76 fire fighting aircrafts, each able to carry 42 metric tons of water.

The accident has forced the ministry to temporarily close the Yelabuga-Izhevsk zone of the M7 federal highway, connecting Moscow and Ufa, the capital of the Urals republic of Bashkortostan.

The nearby railway line was also closed." source DNA