Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ukraine crews battle blaze after 'huge' explosion outside Kiev

June 9, 2015 (BBC News Europe) Emergency crews are battling a fire outside the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, following a huge blast at a fuel depot. The blaze broke out on Monday evening, and one worker at the plant died. The explosion on Tuesday morning left several firefighters reportedly injured or missing. Three firefighters were unaccounted for and another six were taken to hospital, officials said, as the fire spread to at least 16 tanks, most of them storing petrol.

The fire at the depot, next to Hlevakha airbase and near the town of Vasylkiv (20 km. away from Kiev), sent a huge pall of smoke over the surrounding area. The fire burned through the night The army has been clearing a munitions storage facility, located about 50m (164 ft) away, according to Oleksandr Turchynov, secretary of Ukraine's national security and defence council. Fire crews are trying to stop the blaze spreading to an adjacent depot. 
People in the surrounding area have been taken to safety. Of the 16 tanks on fire, eight were said to have a capacity of 900 cubic metres (32,000 cu ft) each. Two hundred firefighters were trying to bring the fire under control amid fears it could spread to an adjacent depot. People in a 2km (1.24 miles) zone around the petrol containers currently on fire have been evacuated, Mr Turchynov said. It was not immediately clear what might have caused the blast.