Arsenal fire in Kazakhstan injures 46, prompts evacuation

International

In this video grab provided by Radio Free Europe, showing Kazakh Service medical personnel move an injured person onto a stretcher in Arys, southern Kazakhstan, on Monday, June 24, 2019. A fire at the sprawling ammunition depot has triggered powerful explosions, injuring at least 16 people and forcing the evacuation of Arys’ 45,000 residents. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — A fire engulfed a sprawling ammunition depot in Kazakhstan Monday, causing powerful explosions that injured at least 46 people and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands.

Authorities in Kazakhstan also halted railway traffic in the area following Monday’s explosions at the depot near the town of Arys in the Shymkent region in southern Kazakhstan.

Health authorities said 46 people, including five children, were injured by explosions.

The government has introduced a state of emergency and begun evacuating Arys’ 45,000 residents. About 1,000 police and army troops have been sent to the area to maintain order.

The explosions at the depot have been powerful enough to have been registered by the nation’s seismic service.

The cause of the fire wasn’t immediately clear. A criminal probe has been launched.

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