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MOSCOW, July 6 (Itar-Tass) —— A criminal case was opened against the commander and an assistant commander of the 102nd ammunition storage in Udmurtia, where the ammunition blasts went off, senior aide to the military prosecutor in the Central Military District Sergei Bogomolov told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
“Upon results of the prosecutor’s inspection a criminal case was opened against commander of the 102nd ammunition depot Col. Yuri Banin and his assistant commander Lieut. Col. Oleg Suvorov under two articles of the Criminal Code for violation of the security rules at explosion hazardous facilities and for violation of the handling rules with ammunition, Bogomolov underlined.
He noted that the military prosecutor’s office in the Central Military District has made inspections at the 99th ammunition storage in the Iglino district of Bashkortostan near Urman and at the 102nd ammunition storage in the settlement of Pugachevo in Udmurtia for the rules of ammunition safe storage and fire safety.
“The detectives found out that the ammunition blasts were prompted by law violations, which military officials at the ammunition storages committed in the fire safety rules and the rules for safe operations,” the senior aide to the military prosecutor said.
The commander of the troops in the Central Military District was instructed to eliminate the violations.
As far as the blasts at the ammunition storage in Bashkortostan are concerned, Bogomolov noted that “upon results of an inspection carried out by the military investigation department in the Central Military District against military officials a criminal case was opened under Article 217 Part 1 for violation of the safety rules at explosion hazardous facilities.” A criminal case was opened against Private Sergei Denyayev under two articles 217 and 349 of the Criminal Code, Bogomolov said.
The incident at the ammunition storage in Pugachevo in Udmurtia broke out overnight to June 3. The fire spread on 18 ammunition depots and about 150 buildings on eight kilometres. Some 170,000 ammunitions were being kept at the ammunition storage and only a third of them remained dud. Some 28,000 people were evacuated and 100 people were injured in the blast zone. A soldier died in the fire-fighting efforts and two civilians died of heart attacks. The explosions and the blast wave destroyed 3,000 houses and social facilities. Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov offered to President Dmitry Medvedev to dismiss several high-ranking military officials, including a general, for the blasts at the ammunition storage in Udmurtia. Other culprits in the incident, including Deputy Defence Minister Dmitry Bulgakov, were offered to be reprimanded.
On May 26, the ammunition boxes caught fire that triggered their blasts at the 99th ammunition storage in Urman. Some 40 buildings, including 14 residential houses, burnt down. Some 2,700 people were evacuated from the dangerous zone and 46 people remained homeless. Some 12 people were injured. The Investigation Committee reported earlier that a criminal case was opened against Private Sergei Denyayev. The detectives found out that when defusing and storing empty shells from artillery projectiles he threw a full shell to other unarmed shells in violation of the security rules that triggered the ammunition blasts.