Fuel depot blazes in Ukraine, explosion kills firemen: minister

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 09, 2015 2:47 AM

KIEV (Reuters) - A powerful explosion killed a number of firemen on Tuesday as they fought to control a blazing fuel depot which had burned through the night outside the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, the interior minister said.

At least nine tanks storing mainly gasoline at the depot in Vasylkiv, 30 km (19 miles) from Kiev, were on fire sending a huge pall of smoke over the surrounding area.

A huge fire-fighting operation was in action involving 62 fire-fighting units and three trains which had delivered equipment and water supplies to the area, emergency services said.

"There was an explosion at a fuel depot. Huge. Firemen have been killed. Emergency services are marshalling all their resources, the minister, Arsen Avakov, tweeted.

Emergency services said at least five workers had been injured.

The fire began in one fuel tank and spread to others.

"As of 7 a.m. (12 a.m. ET) efforts to fight the fire are still going on. The fire extended over eight tanks with a capacity of 900 cubic meters and several small containers," the service said.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Richard Balmforth and Andrew Heavens)