News by VICE

VIDEO: A Russian Military Depot With 40,000 Artillery Shells Just Violently Exploded

A state of emergency has been declared in the city of Achinsk

by Emma Ockerman
Aug 6 2019, 4:21pm

Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.

Several people were injured and thousands more were forced to evacuate a Russian city Monday after an artillery depot violently exploded at a military base in Siberia.

One person is reportedly dead, according to the Guardian, although the Russian Defense Ministry dismissed that report to the state-run news agency Tass. It’s not immediately clear why the building near the town of Achinsk — about 2,000 miles outside Moscow — ignited, but video shows visible shockwaves rippling through the air above the base amid plumes of smoke and flames. Air traffic was temporarily suspended near the site.

The storage facility was packed with nearly 40,000 artillery shells.

The fire was extinguished by early Tuesday, according to the Independent. The paper added that Russia’s most recent ammunition depot explosion occurred in May of last year, and the resulting fire wasn’t put out for nearly a week. Siberia has also experienced a slate of wildfires this summer.

A state of emergency has been declared in Achinsk, according to the BBC. Nearly 10,000 people were evacuated, according to the Independent. And 7,000 people left town on their own, without an evacuation order. A nearby aluminum producer also suspended operations as a result of the explosion.

artillery depot
Russian Defense Ministry