Intensity of explosions at former ammo depot in Balakliya reduces, situation under control
Four sections of the former ammo depot in Balakliya in Kharkiv region were still smoldering as of 07:00 on May 4, the intensity of explosions has reduced and the situation is under control, the Ukrainian State Emergency Service said in a statement on Friday morning.
"Teams of the State Emergency Service are pouring water into four firefighting tanks which are putting out flames on the technical grounds. Aircraft of the State Emergency Service are extinguishing isolated fires on the depot's premises," the statement said.
Local authorities have opened seven shelters, and 246 civilians have chosen to evacuate.
Motor traffic is limited on a ten-kilometer radius around Balakliya. Rail traffic is suspended at the Balakliya station, and a temporary no-fly zone has been created on a 30-kilometer radius.
An emergency management staff has been deployed on the location. It is led by the chairman of the Balakliya district state administration.
"A total of 468 people and 120 vehicles, including 265 people and 67 vehicles of the State Emergency Service, among them two Antonov An-32P planes and a Mil Mi-8 firefighting helicopter, have been engaged in the cleanup of the emergency situation and the evacuation of civilians," the statement said.
Dry grass caught fire on the technical grounds of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's ammo depot in Balakliya on Thursday, May 3, triggering isolated shell explosions. There are no casualties.