16 May 2018 17:54

Munitions at Pugachyovo arsenal blowing up again because of wildfire, no evacuation needed - local administration head

IZHEVSK. May 16 (Interfax) - Munitions at an arsenal near the village of Pugachyovo in Russia's internal republic of Udmurtia have started exploding again because of a grass fire, Eduard Sultanov, the head of the Pugachyovo administration, told Interfax.

"Projectiles are blowing up because dry grass is burning," Sultanov said.

The explosions are about 1.5 kilometers from the nearest houses.

No evacuation is needed, Sultanov said. "Everything is under control, and there is no threat to the population's lives," he said.

Early on June 3, 2011, a fire broke out at Artillery Arsenal No. 102 in Udmurtia, causing munitions to explode. The incident killed one serviceman and injured 100. Over 28,000 local residents were evacuated from nearby communities, and the blasts damaged over 3,000 houses in 32 villages. Investigators determined that the incident had been caused by failure to comply with explosion and fire safety precautions when handling ammunition.

On May 4, 2015, grass caught fire two kilometers from Pugachyovo, causing projectiles at the arsenal to detonate. The fire grew to over two hectares. The local administration, the Emergency Situations Ministry, and the Defense Ministry said the incident did not pose any danger to the local population.