At least 50 killed in Albanian army depot explosion

March 16th, 2008 - 12:32 am ICT by admin  

Tirana, March 15 (Xinhua) At least 50 people working at an army depot have been killed in an explosion Saturday near the Albanian capital Tirana, media reported. The depot is located near Vora, about 15 km west of Tirana. The explosion could be heard in Tirana and Durres, the biggest port city of Albania.

A witness told a local TV channel that there were at least 50 people working at the site, dismantling weapons, and they have been reportedly killed in the explosion.

Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha said the authorities still had not got the full information about the situation, and the country’s President Bamir Topi said that the exact number of casualties had not yet been established.

Albania has destroyed some 46,000 tonnes of ammunition and is continuing to scrap excess weaponry, hoping that it might help the country get the ticket to a NATO membership at the alliance’s April 2-4 summit in Bucharest, Romania.

Albania was the first country to destroy 16,000 tonnes of chemical agents in July last year through the Nunn-Lugar programme, which was launched by two US senators for the elimination of chemical weapons and other substances.

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