One dead in Crimea blasts – governor
One person has been killed in a series of explosions that rocked a Russian military airfield in Crimea on Tuesday afternoon, the region’s governor has revealed. Nine more people have sustained minor injuries as a result of the incident, according to the local health ministry.
Officials in Moscow earlier put the blasts down to an accidental detonation of ammunition and denied they had been caused by an enemy attack.
Sergey Aksyonov, the head of Crimea, who is at the Saki airfield, posted a video on his Telegram channel, saying that “unfortunately, now official information is coming in, unfortunately, we have one fatality.” The official pledged to issue updates on social media if and when more details are established.
Crimea’s health ministry initially confirmed that five people injured in the incident, including a child, have been hospitalized, with their condition being described as non-life-threatening. That number was revised up to nine in a later update.
In his latest video, Aksyonov also urged everyone to only seek and accept official comments, such as those issued by Russia’s defense ministry, regarding the cause of the blasts.
The official went on to give assurances that the “number of ambulances [working at the scene] is sufficient,” with the situation there describes as “under control.”
The Crimean governor also explained that householders in the immediate vicinity of the airfield will be relocated. On top of this, Aksyonov also promised that no local resident who has been affected by the blasts will be left “without help.”
The first reports of several blasts in the village of Novofyodorovka, many accompanied by eyewitness footage, appeared on several Russian Telegram channels at around 3pm local time. The incident was later confirmed by Crimean authorities and eventually by the defense ministry in Moscow as well.
Commenting on the explosions in Crimea on Tuesday, Ukraine’s defense ministry said that it has been unable to ascertain the cause of the fire that led to the incident. Officials in Kiev, however, did name a “violation of fire safety regulations” as the most likely reason behind the fire.
The ministry added that Moscow could use the blasts in its “information war and that the Russian occupiers will ‘accidentally’ find” some clues pointing to Ukraine’s involvement.