One individual has been killed following a sequence of blasts at a Russian navy air base near seaside resorts on the annexed Crimean peninsula.
Witnesses mentioned they heard not less than 12 explosions at about 3.20pm native time (1.20pm BST) from the Saky base on the west coast.
There was hypothesis that the bottom had been hit by missiles however Russia mentioned ammunition had detonated.
Videos posted on social media confirmed folks fleeing a seaside as flames and pillars of smoke rose up from a number of places.
Witnesses additionally reported a fireplace on a runway and harm to close by properties, Crimea Today News mentioned on Telegram.
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Crimea’s well being division mentioned one civilian had been killed, whereas one other individual had been handled in hospital for average accidents and an additional 5 suffered minor wounds.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and used it as a launchpad for the invasion of its neighbour in February.
Russian warplanes have used the bottom to strike areas in southern Ukraine.
Moscow mentioned the explosions had been detonations of saved ammunition, and had not been brought on by an assault.
Russia’s major information businesses quoted an unnamed ministry supply as saying that “only a violation of fire safety requirements is considered as the main reason for the explosion of several ammunition stores at the Saky airfield”.
The supply added: “There are no signs, evidence or, even less, facts (to indicate) a deliberate impact on ammunition stores.”
There had been recommendations on Ukrainian social media, nonetheless, that the bottom had been hit by long-range missiles fired from Ukraine.
In an apparently sarcastic submit on Facebook, the Ukrainian defence ministry mentioned: “The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine cannot establish the cause of the fire, but once again recalls the rules of fire safety and the prohibition of smoking in unspecified places.”
It added: “We can’t rule out that the occupiers will ‘accidentally’ find some characteristic ‘insignia’, ‘visiting card’ or even ‘DNA’.”
Since the warfare started, Russia has reported quite a few fires and explosions at munitions storage websites on its territory close to the Ukrainian border, blaming a few of them on Ukrainian strikes.
Ukraine has principally not commented.