Second day after explosions in Ichnia: Current situation

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

Earlier, the 6th ammunition depot of the Defense Ministry in Ichnia district of Chernihiv region exploded four times which caused fire and further blasts
15:56, 10 October 2018

The country for the second day closely follows the events in Ichnia district of Chernihiv region where the day before a large-scale fire occurred after the explosions at the 6th ammunition depot of the Defense Ministry. After that, the ammunition started to explode and scatter all over. The emergency services started to evacuate locals from 16 km of the impact zone, and it is almost 40 settlements with around 20,000 people. We will tell you about the current situation with fire extinguishing works, evacuated people and other details.

Over 1,000 people and 212 units of equipment: The depot is still on fire

Despite the announcement of the Defense Ministry about the localization of fire at the ammo stock, it is still too early to state the full liquidation of fire at the 6th depot in Chernihiv region.

The Emergency Service as of this morning reported about explosions of different intensity.

“We observe fire burning with further detonations and the intensity is around 6-8 explosions per hour,” Chernihiv region Emergency Service’s spokesperson Roman Khrapaty said on air of 112 Ukraine TV channel.

Thus, the rescuers plan to start liquidating the emergency after the blasts intensity has subsided.

At the same time, the Defense Ministry add that situation at the site is under control.

There have been five water droppings (40 tons) and the air reconnaissance of the depot technical area has been conducted.       

Compared to the first day, the number of measures and forces working at the site have been increased twofold. At the moment, over 1,000 people and 212 units of equipment are involved in fire extinguishing.

In addition, in case the operative situation worsens, the Emergency Service created a reserve unit with 109 people and 23 equipment units, 2 water-bombing aircraft, medical planes and a helicopter.

The Defense Ministry also added three fire-fighting tanks. The reserve includes 7 fire trains at the railway station in Pryluky, Konotop, Nizhyn, Kyiv-passenger station, Darnytsia, Poltava and Kahamlytska.

General characteristics. What exactly is burning at the ammo depot

The whole area of the 6th armory is around 682,6 hectares, 402 of which – is a technical territory that is burning now. The reconnaissance showed yesterday morning that 10% of the technical area were burning, which is five stocks. However, after the further detonation during the day, fire spread to 30% of the whole depot.

The Emergency Service reported that armory comprises around 88,000 tons of ammunition, however the Defense Ministry said there were a lot less, by 1,5-2 times, but did not specify the exact number.

As the Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak noted, for the moment of detonation, only 50% of stocks were filled, as the most deficit and important ammunition was transferred to other depots.

Open source

On October 10, Poltorak said that when fire started, there were 69,500 tons of ammunition at the depot and, 43,000 of them could be used. Other 18,000 tons are the elements of munitions and parts of them, according to him.

Also, the munitions, which were not in the service of an army and should be disposed, were held at the depot.

It is interesting that earlier, the ministry reported that there were mainly small arms at the depot and it contained no heavy artillery systems or missile systems.

However, Ukraine's President Poroshenko denied this information:

"We have explosions at three depots occur simultaneously and 20 minuted later, another six depots blow up with not just small arms, but multiple rocket launchers. The situation has to be investigated," he said.

From houses to schools and clubs: Over 12,500 people evacuated

As of October 10, 12,500 people were evacuated due to the explosions in Ichnia. They are locals from 16 km of the impact zone with almost 40 settlements and around 20,000 people.

As Chernihiv Regional State Administartion notes, the majority of the evacuated people moved to stay at relatives’ houses, the rest of them remained in temporary shelters.

In general, according to Emergency Service there are 18 shelters like this. They are located in the premises of schools, houses of culture and other institutions.

All points have food for evacuees, medical and psychological assistance is provided. The number of humanitarian aid points was also increased.

The evacuation of people still continues. As Roman Khrapaty reported, the detonation of ammunition at the depot has not stopped yet and it is still not safe to return home.  

There were no casualties as a result of the explosions and fire at the depot.

“No” to planes, trains, cars: What restrictive measures are taken in the region

Considering the fact that fire in ammunition depot near Ichnia is still not eliminated, there are restrictive measures acting in the settlements near the 6th armoury of the Defence Ministry:

  1. Gas supply is cut off in Ichnia, Hmyryanka, Burymka, Huzhivka, Irzhavets, Krypychpole, Maksymivka, Rozhnivka, Monastyryshche, Zaudayka, Obychev. 5515 households are left without gas. No reports on cutting off power supply made.
  2. Railway movement through Ichnia station is temporary suspended. Earlier, Ukrainian Railways stopped the movement of trains on three railway hauls: Avgustovsky – Kolomiytseve, Avgustovsky – Ichnia and Kolomiytseve – Pryluky.
  3. Road transport is directed detour of the emergency zone.
  4. Air space within a radius of 30 km is closed.

Ammunition in gardens and looting: Situation in settlements of emergency zone

Law enforcers, local and those from neighboring regions (Kyiv, Sumy, Poltava, etc.), are serving in a strengthened regime in a 16-km dangerous zone in Chernihiv region.

“The night of October 10 passed without problems, police made five visits to the empty households after been informed about looting. The information was not confirmed, as the citizens are being more attentive concerning new individuals who appear near the houses of their neighbors or relatives. People were taking the owners, who came back home to check livestock and property, as criminals often,” the press office of the National Police noted.

In total, police received 62 messages concerning the events related to the emergency in military warehouses in Ichnia. Six of them regard the destruction of houses (five – in Ichnia, one more – in Pryluky district).

Moreover, 12 cases of ammunition detection in the city were recorded.

“Now, the pyrotechnicians are disposing ammunition, which appeared in the gardens and yards, and in working sites of local enterprises. Doctors are providing medical and psychological assistance to those in need, primarily, to senior citizens,” the message says.

State Emergency Service reported on five fires outside the armoury, which occurred because of ammunition projection in Ichnia, Avgustivka. They were all eliminated.

The Cabinet of Ministers decided to allocate $3,5 million to eliminate the consequences of the fire at Ichnia ammo depot.

Three versions of ignition: The course of investigation of the situation in Chernihiv region

According to Ukraine’s Security Service, three versions of ignition in Ichnia ammunition depot are considered for now.

The most likely possible cause is sabotage act with the infiltration of a sabotage group onto the stocks premises. Because, as it was reported earlier, during the questioning of the Armed Forces guards, it turned out that at around 3:20 am on October 9, three warehouses were exploded simultaneously, and in twenty minutes, some other warehouses were put on fire.

The second version - the breach of fire safety or ammunition storage regulations. Military Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine’s Central region is checking this version.

The criminal proceeding was opened under the article of Ukraine’s Criminal Code on the negligence of the military official to the service, if it caused serious damage, committed during a special period except the martial law. The article provides prison sentence for five-seven years.

And the third is a deliberate arson performed in order to conceal the lack of ammunition.

Earlier, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko summoned the law enforcers and stressed that he expected an immediate and diligent investigation of the emergency. He said everyone who let this happen because of his negligence has to be punished. As far as we understood, regardless of whether it was a subversion or violation of fire safety regulations.

Also, the Head of the State ordered to provide funding of the program of ammunition depots security.

Today, it was reported that under the order of Viktor Muzhenko, the Head of the General Staff, security and defence of all the ammunition depots in Ukraine were enhanced.

Earlier, Ukraine strengthened the security measures on state border with Belarus.

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