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Blast kills 6, injures 12 in Russia

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Russian soldiers hold air defense exercise at Ashuluk training ground in Russia's Astrakhan Region.

Six soldiers have been killed and twelve others injured in a blast at a Russian military base in the southern part of the country.

The explosion happened on Tuesday when the soldiers were disposing of old munitions on the Ashuluk base in the Astrakhan region, at the mouth of the Volga River, about 1,100 kilometers south of Moscow, the Associated Press quoted Russian Emergencies Ministry spokesman Oleg Ivanov as saying.

Although there are speculations that the explosion happened because of the violation of basic safety regulations, officials and experts are investigating further into the cause of the incident.

“We are looking at various possibilities, but the prime among them is the violations of safety procedures during the disposal of munitions,” a regional military prosecutor’s office said.

“According to preliminary information, there was no fire and this poses no danger to the (local) population,” a local security source said to the reporters.

The numbers of deaths and the injured both were confirmed by the defense ministry in Moscow though it did not provide any further details.

Russia uses the Ashuluk base in the Astrakhan region to carry out war games and training exercises with the armed forces of other former Soviet states, according to military officials.

In April, a 76-millimeter artillery shell exploded at the Ashuluk base, killing one serviceman.


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