A woman has died in an enormous fire at a Ukrainian munitions dump in the country’s Kharkiv region near the Russian border. The body of the 66-year old woman was found in a house that had been hit by a shell in a town near the depot in Balaklia, Ukraine’s State Emergency Service minister Mykola Chechetkin told lawmakers Friday.
About 20,000 people were evacuated when the fire broke out Thursday at one of Ukraine’s largest military arsenals, which held huge stocks of large-caliber artillery rounds. Chechetkin said the blaze was continuing but its intensity had lessened.
Ukrainian officials have accused Russian or separatist saboteurs of causing the fire with the aid of a drone. Separatists deny the claim and say it likely was caused by what they call Ukrainian military incompetence.