30,000 people have been evacuated after an explosion of an ammunition depot in the Ukraine. So far, only person has been injured, and gas and electricity at the site have been shut off as a precautionary measure.
Ukranian emergency services said the blasts occurred at a military base near Kalynivka in the Vynnytsya region, 170 miles west of Kiev.
The powerful explosions late Tuesday created massive fireballs that lit up the night sky. Hours later, smoke was seen billowing Wednesday morning. Four residential buildings were damaged by fire but no casualties have been reported.
Local media reported that about 188,000 tons of munitions were kept at the depot including rockets for the Grad multiple grenade launchers.
“People suffered heavy damage,” a local resident who agreed to identify herself only as Antonina told AFP. “Some homes had their windows and doors completely blown out,” she said.
Andriy Ageyev, spokesman of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, told the 112 television station that munitions at the military base in Kalynivka were still detonating at the military base late Wednesday morning.
Arriving in the region hours later, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said “external factors” were behind the explosion. He said the cause of the fire was under investigation. Olena Gitlyanska, spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Security Service, told the Unian news agency they are treating the fire as sabotage.
Government forces have been fighting Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine since April 2014 in a conflict that has left more than 10,000 killed and displaced more than a million.