MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti) – Russia saw two fatal explosions of stockpiled ammunition last year, down from five the previous year, emergency officials said Wednesday.
But the Emergency Situations Ministry noted that 17 ammunition depots caught fire or exploded in the five-year period up to 2012, as compared to only nine in the five years prior.
An ammunition fire at a military facility near Chapayevsk in Russia’s Volga Samara region last June led to several injuries and one death and forced the evacuation of 6,500 people from the town.
The regional government provided financial assistance to 5,000 area residents whose homes were damaged in the disaster.
In October, six Russian paratroopers were killed and two more injured in an ammo explosion at a facility outside Pskov near Russia’s western borders with Estonia and Belarus.
Critics of the military attribute the persisting problem of exploding army ammunition depots as the outcome of poor oversight and lax safety standards.