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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: April 13, 2015
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Forest Fires in Khakasiya Claim Lives of 23; Reports Denied of Ammunition Depot Explosion in Chita
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More than 1,200 homes in 20 towns were engulfed in fire on Sunday April 13 in the Russian Federation Republic of Khakasiya, to the east of Moscow in the southwestern part of Siberia.

The death toll has risen to at least 23 persons in Khakasiya, with one person  missing and 900 injured, TASS and RIA Novosti reported.

More than 5,000 people have been left without shelter.

There are also fires in Transbaikal, the area east of Lake Baikal, where three people have died and 145 homes in 19 villages have been burned. Fires are also reported in Tverskaya Region.


Translation: Emergencies Ministry reports the first victims of the forest fires in Khakasiya -- due to wind, aviation unable to operate.

TASS has denied reports that ammunition depots in the Chita region of Transbaikail Territory had caught fire and were exploding.

A source in the Defense Ministry said (translation by The Interpreter):

"The burning of the dry brush on the grounds adjacent to the depot zone of the army base in the raea of the Forest Camp has been localized by firefighters. The grounds are being dampened."

Earlier a source in law-enforcement said that the fire had jumped to the munitions depot. Local residents were leaving the area in panic and were being told to take their belongings and ID.

TASS reported that Oleg Skopich, first deputy head of the regional office of the Emergencies Ministry said at a briefing in Chita in the Transbaikal Territory:

"There is a difficult situation in the village. The top fire jumped on to the grounds of the army depots. There were several pops. There is no threat to the population."

He said it was "premature" to talk about explosions. Although there were some pops from the fires, most likely this was the asbestos board.

But Governor Ilkovsky is raising the number of people evacuated due to high winds in the Transbaikal Territory.



Photos by Aleksandr Kolbasov/TASS

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick