Ukraine munitions depot fire extinguishes second day of blaze

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A blaze that took over a Ukrainian munitions depot has been extinguished, Deputy Minister of Defence of Ukraine Igor Pavlovsky said on Friday.

Authorities declared the end of an evacuation for four nearby villages,“Now we’re cleaning up the rubble’’, Pavlovsky said.

More than a thousand soldiers had been deployed to join fire-fighters in efforts to contain the blaze, which had raged for a second day at the facility where an estimated 100,000 tons of munitions were stored.

The blaze had set off munitions that hit nearby buildings and caused authorities to evacuate about 20,000 people from the surrounding area in the province of Kharkiv, which boarders Russia.

Flames of fire

A woman in her mid-60s was found dead in a severely damaged home near the depot in the town of Balakliia, another local resident was injured according to reports.

Ukrainian authorities believe the blaze was caused by an act of sabotage.

Witnesses have reported hearing the buzzing of a drone aircraft followed by two explosions that could have started the blaze.

Ukraine has been battling pro-Russian separatist militias in two other eastern regions Donetsk and Luhansk for the past three years.

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