Blast at Russian arsenal kills 8 during cleanup

AP News
Posted: Nov 23, 2009 10:15 AM

Russia's Defense Ministry says eight military personnel were killed when a truckload of ammunition exploded as they cleaned up after a huge conflagration at a munitions depot earlier this month.

Ministry spokesman Alexei Kuznetsov said two others were injured in Monday's accident at the arsenal in Ulyanovsk, 720 kilometers (430 miles) east of Moscow.

Kuznetsov said a shell detonated when military personnel were loading ammunition onto a truck to be taken away and destroyed. That set off other explosives on the truck, which was badly damaged.

The victims had been cleaning up after a massive series of explosions ripped through the arsenal Nov. 13 and sparked a fire that raged for hours. Two military firefighters were killed in that blaze. Authorities blamed it on human error.