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  Thursday, October 29, 2020
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The fire raging at the military depot in the Melitopol district of the Zaporozhye region has been localised
The fire raging at the military depot in the Melitopol district of the Zaporozhye region (southeastern Ukraine) has been localised, Ukrainian deputy prime minister Andrei Kluyev, currently in Melitopol, told journalists. According to Klyuev, who heads the State Commission on Emergencies and Environmental and Technogenic Safety, the radius of the risk zone has been steadily diminishing. At the same time, to ensure safety of the population in the surrounding area, the authorities have decided to expand the evacuation zone to 10 kilometres from the epicentre of the fire. In the meantime, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry said that the MI-8 helicopter sent from an air base near the town of Nezhin in Ukraine's Chernigov Region is ready to take part in the fire-fighting operation. The helicopter has a special fire-fighting equipment (a cable-slung scoop tank with a capacity of carrying 2.5 tons of water) and is currently on a standby. The fire at the ammunition depot broke out at about 12.50 local time. It resulted in massive explosion of ordnance shells. For the time being, the shells are continuing to explode. According to the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry, the depot stored as many as 4,500 conventional wagon-loads of ammunition weighing about 90,000 tons. Last October, a fire that broke out at an army depot in the town of Artemovsk in Ukraine's Donetsk region caused explosion of less than 3,500 tons of ammunition which kept blowing up for about 18 hours.
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