- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 19, 2013

At least 6,000 people were evacuated from a village in southern Russia on Wednesday after a nearby military depot exploded in flames, sending fireballs high into the sky and injuring at least 30.

More than 600 emergency responders on scene, trying to extinguish and contain the fire, The Associated Press reported.

The cause of the blast at the Chapaevsk military facility in the Samar region is still under investigation, AP reported.

Emergency responders said it began with an “involuntary” explosion of shells, AP said.

Sudden shell explosions are not uncommon in Russia. The nation’s munitions date back decades, and several similar spontaneous blasts have been reported in recent years. The ensuing fires typically last several days, AP reported.

One in October was found to have been cause by a lit cigarette dropped by a solider; others have been attributed to shell-case explosions during the disposal process, AP reported.

About 11 of the injured were taken to the hospital, AP reported. The evacuees come from the village of Nagorny.

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