Thousands Evacuated After Russian Bomb Depot Blast

<i> Associated Press</i>

A bomb storage depot belonging to Russia’s Pacific Fleet exploded Saturday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of nearby residents.

Russian news reports said there were no chemical or nuclear weapons in the depot, used by the fleet’s air wing, about 60 miles northeast of Vladivostok.

But the afternoon blast was so powerful that it shook the earth 60 miles away. Several people were injured by flying glass when windows shattered in the nearby village of Novonezhino.

The Interfax news agency said several fires were ignited in a nearby forest.


A train was pressed into service as rescue units began evacuating Novonezhino’s 3,000 residents to a nearby town. News reports said authorities had cordoned off an 18-mile area around the depot.