BET À DAY
MOSCOW | Several explosions occurred near a Russian military airfield in western Crimea on Tuesday, killing one person, with Russian authorities saying they took place at an ammunition dump.
Videos posted on social media showed a fireball forming after a loud blast, as thick billows of black smoke billowed into the sky and holidaymakers panicked leaving the nearby local beach. /p>
“Several aviation ammunition exploded in a depot located on the territory of the Saki military airfield, near the town of Novofyodorovka,” the Russian military said in a statement.< /p>
The depot in question was not the target of any fire or bombardment, she added, without however specifying the origin of these explosions .
Initially, the Russian army had assured that there were no victims in the explosions. But, later in the day, Crimean leader Sergei Aksionov reported one death.
“Unfortunately, one person has been killed. I send my deepest condolences to his relatives,” Aksionov wrote on Telegram.
For his part, Crimean Health Minister Konstantin Skorupsky said that five people had been injured, including a child.
Thirty people were evacuated from Novofyodorovka, according to local authorities.
Shortly before, they had announced that “several explosions” had occurred near the military airfield, without explaining the cause.
Crimea, a peninsula of Ukraine annexed in 2014 by Moscow, is in the front line of the military offensive that Russia has been leading against its Ukrainian neighbor since February 24.
Russian planes take off almost daily from Crimea to strike targets in areas under the control of Kyiv and several areas of this peninsula are located within the range of Ukrainian guns and drones.
Despite the conflict, Crimea has remained an important vacation spot for many Russians who continue to enjoy summer on its beaches.
“Tourists are not in danger. We ask you to keep calm”, said a Russian deputy elected in Crimea, Alexei Tcherniak.
“All the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the infrastructures and the population have been taken”, declared for his part Sergei Aksionov.