Eight killed in arsenal cleanup operation

Eight people have been killed and two seriously injured in a blast at a Russian arms depot, which was the scene of devastating explosions ten days ago, forcing the President to dismiss high-ranking military officials.

In the latest incident, soldiers were loading ammunition as part of the cleanup operation in the central Russian town of Ulyanovsk when one of the shells blew up.

The site has been secured after decommissioned weapons blew up at the facility, killing two people, injuring dozens and damaging almost 200 nearby homes earlier this month.

A preliminary investigation suggests that procedural violations during a utilization of weapons were the most probable cause of explosions on Monday.

Heads roll over explosion

Several high-ranking military officials – including the commander of the Engineering Corps of the 2nd Combined-Arms Army, and the head of the 31st Arsenal – are to lose their jobs due to the explosion at the facility.

“They failed to fulfill their duties, shame on them,” Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev said.

“As far as I know, when it all happened – on November 13, the respective authorities in charge of the arsenal could not be found for half of the night,” he added.

The president also ordered that the rest of the lower-ranked officers responsible be punished for their negligence.

“We need to ensure real security to military personnel in such matters and to all Ulyanovsk residents. Not only in Ulyanovsk, but elsewhere also. We have a lot of arsenals of such kinds all around the country, and we need to check the way the ammunition is stored there,” the president added.