Uzbekistan: Three killed in army depot explosion in Kagan
RIA-Novosti news agency quoted sources in the government of Uzbekistan as saying three people were killed and 21 wounded following explosions at an army depot in Kagan late Wednesday. Local residents, however, estimate the number of victims in the hundreds.
Authorities have denounced reports claiming extensive damage was done by the explosions. A spokesman for the Uzbek Emergency Ministry said the incident was minor and refuted earlier reports claiming the railroad terminal and hospital had been destroyed.
Ferghana.Ru sources say two explosions in the early hours of Thursday were powerful enough to shatter windows 12 kilometers from the blast epicenter. Rumors began circulating in Bukhara this morning that the arsenal in Kagan contained heavy air bombs whose detonation could do extensive damage if exploded. The Emergency Ministry also denounced these rumors.
Fire at a military helicopter base in Kagan, 12 kilometers from Bukhara, was reported at 2300 hours on Wednesday night. Efforts by the military to put it out proved futile. Artillery shells stored in the army depot nearby began igniting and the explosions continued throughout the night. Kagan’s population was evacuated and the town itself cordoned off. Defense Ministry officials said the fire had been extinguished by 0400 hours.