ASTRAKHAN, August 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Six servicemen died and twelve were injured in the explosion at the Ashuluk training range in the Astrakhan region, a regional police source told Itar-Tass.
“The explosion happened in the disposal of old munitions. Six servicemen died instantly. Twelve were injured. Information about casualties is being updated,” he said.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirms six deaths in the explosions at the Ashuluk training range in the Astrakhan region, the ministry spokesman said.
“Six servicemen died and twelve were injured in the disposal of old munitions at the Ashuluk training range of the Southern Military District in the Astrakhan region at around 5:00 p.m. Moscow time on Tuesday. The defense minister formed a commission led by Southern Military District Commander Col. Gen. Alexander Galkin to investigate the accident,” he said.
The Astrakhan regional emergency situations department said that the injured servicemen were taken to the Astrakhan hospitals by helicopter. Military prosecutors have begun investigation.
This is the second accident at Ashuluk over the past year. Neglect of fire safety rules led to a fire and explosion of a 76-millimeter artillery projectile on April 11. The explosion killed a serviceman.
Commander of the Ashuluk combined company disposing of munitions Andrei Stribizhev was charged with causing death by negligence.
Ashuluk was established on May 25, 1960, as the research and training range of air defense forces. It is located 110 kilometers north of Astrakhan.
In recent years the training range has become the constant host of the Combat Commonwealth air defense and air force exercises of CIS member countries.