Ammo train explodes, sets off Siberia wildfire

July 26th, 2012 - 8:44 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, July 25 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A series of explosions on a military train, carrying ammunition, triggered a wildfire in central Siberia Wednesday.

The incident occurred when a train car carrying scrapped 30-mm artillery shells caught fire, detonating the ammunition and sending fragments flying up to 200 metres, threatening a nearby town in the Novosibirsk region.

The train car — one of 72 — was completely incinerated, setting ablaze the dry vegetation across a vast hard-to-access area.

The Defence Ministry provided six helicopters to dump water on the blaze, which threatened to wipe out Tikhomirovo town.

An unspecified number of residents had to be evacuated from their homes.

The fire could not extinguished completely and high winds could cause it to flare up again, said an Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman for the Novosibirsk region Wednesday.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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