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Thousands evacuated after explosions at Ukrainian ammo depot

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KIEV — About 10,000 people have been evacuated after a fire and explosions hit a defense ministry ammunition depot 176 kms (109 miles) east of the Ukrainian capital Kiev early on Tuesday morning, officials said.

There was no mention of any casualties and it was not immediately clear whether the explosions were an accident or sabotage.

The airspace in a 20 km (12 miles) radius has been closed and road and rail transport suspended. Hundreds of people have been deployed to the site, a statement by the emergency services said, and the head of Ukraine’s armed forces has gone there.

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There have been several large fires at ammunition and weapons depots in recent years, an additional drain on Ukraine’s military, which has been fighting Russian-backed separatists in eastern regions since 2014.

“About 10 thousand people were evacuated,” the statement by the emergency services said. “From 04:22 am (0122 GMT) the airspace within a radius of 20 km has been closed. The movement of rail and road transport is suspended.”

Last year massive explosions at a military depot in the Vynnytsya region, 270 km west of Kiev, forced the authorities to evacuate 24,000 people.

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Two killed in accident

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CHITWAN— Two people were killed and five injured in a road accident at Kurintar of Icchakamana Rural Municipality-5 today afternoon. 

The accident occurred when a tanker (Ba 1 Jha565) hit a Maruti van (Ga 2 Cha 1751) at 12:40 pm. The van was heading towards Dhading from Pokhara and the tanker was also coming in the same direction at the time of the accident, the District Police Office, Dhading stated. 

Police identified the deceased as Chandra Bahadur Nepali, around 25 years old of Kalleri, Dhading and an unidentified child. 

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Among the five people who sustained injuries in the mishap, one person is undergoing treatment at a government hospital in Bharatpur and another one at the Chitwan College of Medical Science.

It is learnt that the remaining three injured persons are being brought to Bharatpur. One among the injured is said to be in critical condition.

It is not known whether the victims were traveling in the van or tanker. The van is on the road while the tanker has fell down to the bank of the Trishuli river after the accident. 

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