Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Explosions Rock Russian Navy Base

A fire broke out at the Leningrad naval base near St. Petersburg in northern Russia today, setting off ammunition explosions that killed a woman and injured six other people, officials said. Rescuers found the body of the woman, a supervisor, toward the evening, said Russian Navy spokesman Capt Igor Dygalo in televised comments. One of the injured had burns over 40% of her body, said Andrei Alyabyev, spokesman for the St Petersburg and Leningrad regional emergency service. All the injured were workers on the Kronstadt base about 20 miles west of St Petersburg. The fire started in a section of the base where depth charges are stored, and the navy spokesman said it was caused by “careless handling” of the charges. Russian television footage showed one large shell blasting into the air from the fire site. Alyabyev said about 20 explosions were heard during the fire, which reportedly was brought under control several hours later.

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