Crimea: Explosions rock area of Russian airbase – CNN

One person has died and multiple others were injured in a series of large explosions that rocked the area of a Russian military airbase in the annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea on Tuesday, local authorities have said.

Footage from the scene showed large plumes of smoke billowing into the air. The Russian defense ministry said the blasts had been caused by detonated aviation ammunition, Russian state media RIA Novosti reported.

“Around 3:20 p.m., several aviation munitions detonated on the territory of the airfield ‘Saki’ near the settlement of Novofedorivka,” the ministry said in the statement, according to RIA Novosti.

Earlier on Tuesday Kоnstantin Skorupsky, Minister of Health of the Republic of Crimea, said five people were injured following the explosions. It is not clear if the person who died was among those previously reported as injured.

Ambulance crews and an air ambulance were sent to the site of the explosions, according to the health ministry.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and considers Crimea part of its territory. Kyiv and its allies do not recognize the annexation and consider the peninsula Ukrainian territory under Russian occupation.

Oleg Kryuchkov, adviser to the head of the Crimean region, confirmed several explosions had occurred near the village of Novofedorivka.

In a statement posted on his Telegram channel later in the afternoon, Kryuchkov said around 30 people living nearby were evacuated from their homes following the explosions, and that an air cordon had been set up around the perimeter of the airfield.

Separately, Sergey Aksenov, the head of the so-called Republic of Crimea, said “I went to the scene in the village of Novofedorivka, Saki district. The circumstances are being clarified.”

He said there was “a dispersion of fragments” at the scene and that emergency crews were working the site.

“Measures were taken to set up a cordon perimeter in a 5-kilometer zone: fences, traffic police crews and foot patrols in order to prevent injuries to local residents,” he added.

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