Crews battle huge fire at Ukraine oil depot


Officials say at least eight petrol storage tanks, with a total capacity of up to 900 cubic metres (32,000 cu ft), were ablaze. The fire started on Monday 8th June 2015. 

Four people were killed, including three emergency ministry employees. 

The fire at the depot, next to an army base near the town of Vasylkiv, sent huge plumes of smoke over the surrounding area.

Kiev Mayor, Vitaly Klitschko warned that harmful substances in the air over the city exceeded maximum allowed levels.  He urged residents with respiratory problems to limit their "exposure to the open air".

The cause of the blaze, about 30km (19 miles) from Kiev is being investigated, officials say it may have been negligence or arson.

Meanwhile, the army have been clearing a munitions storage facility, located about 50m (164ft) away, according to Mr Oleksandr Turchynov, secretary of Ukraine's national security and defence council.  Mr Turchynov also stated that people who live in a 2km (1.24 miles) zone around the petrol containers on fire have been evacuated.

Of the 16 tanks on fire, eight were said to have a capacity of 900 cubic metres (32,000 cu ft) each.  Two hundred fire fighters have been trying to bring the fire under control amid fears it could spread to an adjacent depot.

Drone footage has captured the fire at the oil-storage facility near Vasylkiv, south of Kiev.

The video shows the fire when it was isolated to a small number of tanks.  Fourteen people, including seven rescue workers, were being treated for burns and other injuries.

Story collated by Liz Turnbull.

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