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In this video grab provided by Radio Free Europe Kazakh Service medical personnel take an injured person into hospital in Arys, southern Kazakhstan
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo

Kazakhstan munitions depot blows up

June 24, 2019

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated after a military depot blew up in Kazakhstan. A series of blasts rocked the Soviet-era facility.


A munitions depot exploded on Monday, triggering the evacuation of a town of some 44,000 people in southern Kazakhstan.

Authorities reported a series of blasts killing one person and injuring dozens of others at a Soviet-era military facility near the town of Arys, about 600 kilometers west of the capital Almaty.

The explosions were preceded by a large fire with unclear origins.

There were similar incidents in the area in 2009, 2014, and 2015, which were blamed on negligence and safety lapses.

After Monday's blast, the government imposed a state of emergency and began evacuating the town. About 1,000 police and army troops have been deployed. 

The blasts were powerful enough to register on the nation's seismic service. A criminal investigation has been launched.

Local media shared unconfirmed citizen-filmed footage of the blast.


aw/rc (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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