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Explosion at Russian ammunition dump injures at least 4

MOSCOW (AP) — Explosions at a Russian military storage site in Siberia set off fires, injured at least four people and prompted widespread evacuations of residents in the surrounding area Monday, authorities said.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the explosions were in an ammunition depot that held "gunpowder charges for artillery shells."

Emergency personnel were evacuating residents within 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) of the blast site in Siberia's Krasnoyarsk region, "to ensure the security of the population of the settlements located near the depots," local authorities said.

About 1,000 people had left settlements near the depot by mid-afternoon. Achinsk Mayor Ilay Akhmetov said the city's 100,000 residents were being prepared for evacuation.

The state-run TASS news agency quoted an anonymous source saying the ammunition dump held up to 40,000 artillery shells for tank guns.

Ammunition depot explosions are not unusual in Russia. After the most recent incident in May 2018, a fire raged for almost a week before water drops from military aircraft and helicopters helped put out the blaze.

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This story has been corrected to show the previous depot explosion was in 2018, not 2019.

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