Ammunition debris are carried away on a truck after ammunition depot explosions near Ichnya, Chernigov, Ukraine, Oct. 9, 2018. More than 12,500 people were evacuated on Tuesday in the wake of the fire and explosions at an ammunition depot of the Ukrainian army in the country's northern Chernigov region, authorities said. (Xinhua/Sergey)
More than 12,500 people were evacuated on Tuesday in the wake of the fire and explosions at an ammunition depot of the Ukrainian army in the country's northern Chernigiv region, authorities said.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said the fire started overnight following four blasts at different parts of the warehouse, which lies near the town of Ichnya, about 170 km east of Kiev.
The blaze triggered subsequent massive detonation of the ammunition, scattering debris in a radius of 16 km around the 682-hectare depot.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said there were no casualties in the incident.
Later in the day, Rodion Tymoshenko, deputy chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said that the authorities are investigating sabotage as a possible cause of the fire.
Ukraine's air traffic regulator Ukraerorukh has closed the airspace in a 30-km radius around the warehouse. Road and rail transport in the region have also been partially suspended.
Firefighters and the army's emergency response teams have been ordered to work around the clock to extinguish the fire that engulfed 10 percent of the depot.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman pledged that the government will provide necessary assistance to people affected by the incident.
This marked the fourth such incident in Ukraine in two years. The previous three blasts occurred in ammunition depots in the Donetsk and Kharkov regions in eastern Ukraine and the Vinnytsya region in central Ukraine.