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Russian arms depot blasts kill 2, wound 42 in Volga region

06-03-2011 17:35 BJT

MOSCOW, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Powerful blasts in an artillery arsenal in Russia's Volga region republic of Udmurtia have killed two and wounded at least 42 people, local authorities said on Friday.

The republic's Health Minister Vladimir Muzlov said the two died from stress caused by explosions, as one 75-year old man died from heart attack and another 70-year old woman died from an acute myocardial infarction "after being seriously scared by the explosions."

A spokesman of the local emergencies ministry said 19 people "were treated in hospitals," while 23 others "received medical assistance and were released."

According to local reports, shells in the 102 depot near the village of Pugachevo have begun to explode at around 11:10 p.m. Moscow time (1910 GMT) on Thursday, which have halted railway and auto traffic in the region.

Local emergencies ministry said some 28,000 residents have been evacuated from the nearby areas over safety concerns.

So far, causes of the blasts were unknown, but the republic's leader Alexander Volkov told Interfax news agency that the accident was probably caused by "human errors."

The Russian Emergencies Situation Ministry said it has sent seven aircraft and some 800 rescuers to the scene to deal with the fires and explosions.

Spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry Igor Konashenkov said the intensity of explosions has decreased so far, but military officials are still unable to say when the series of explosions will stop.

Local reports said the facility belongs to the Defense Ministry's missile and artillery directorate and is tasked mainly with ammunitions disposal.

This is the second arms depot blast in Russia in two weeks. Some 2,500 people have been evacuated last Thursday from the Urman town in the republic of Bashkortostan due to a fire in an arms depot.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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