Russia explosion: Evacuations and huge exclusion zone after military base erupts

Eleven thousand Russians were being evacuated from neighbourhoods in Krasnoyarsk region's city of Achinsk following blasts and a fire at a military storage facility, TASS news agency cited local authorities as saying. Photographs showed a huge explosion on the horizon with flames leaping into the sky followed by belching black smoke. Eight people were injured in the incident, TASS news agency cited doctors as saying.

A Russian soldier was killed, TASS cited a source as saying.

A source from another agency, RIA, at the defence ministry denied the information about the soldier's death.

Rusal, the world's largest aluminium producer outside China, suspended operations at its Achinsk alumina plant and evacuated all but essential staff to ensure their safety, it said.

The plant is Russia's largest producer of alumina, a raw material which is smelted into aluminium.

Loading is operating on schedule at Russian oil giant Rosneft's Achinsk oil refinery, TASS quoted a refinery spokesperson as saying.

The refinery is located 30km from the military base.

Officials in Achinsk, which has a population of 100,000, are evacuating 11,000 after the explosions.

However, everyone within 20km has been urged to leave their homes.

Videos shared on social media showed the panicked evacuation of the area. 

One video shared on Instagram showed a crowd of people rushing away from an explosion through a woodland. 

Another showed a traffic jam caused by drivers fleeing the area. 

More to follow…

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