Kazakh town evacuated after deadly munitions depot blast

Kazakh officials evacuated a town in the south of the country Monday as a series of explosions at a nearby munitions depot killed one person and injured more than 30, officials said.

At least 31 people were treated in hospitals in the southern Turkestan region after the blasts at the depot, near the town of Arys, which killed one man, said regional governor Umirzak Shukeyev.

The explosions were caused by "a fire, which led to the explosion of some of the ammunition (at the depot)", Kazakhstan's defence ministry said in a statement.

The man who was killed died after "a projectile fell on his car", Shukeyev told journalists at a televised news conference.

At least two of the injured were in "critical condition", he added.

Social media users shared videos of people fleeing the area, as huge plumes of smoke rose in the background.

Other videos showed barely conscious victims being rushed into hospital on trolley beds.

Shukeyev said the town had been almost completely evacuated Monday and that explosions at the depot might continue for several days.

But the country's emergencies committee said that 500 interior ministry troops had been sent to the town to ensure "public order" as rumours of looting spread.

The incident has also interrupted transport in Kazakhstan and the wider region.

Rail authorities in Kazakhstan said that more than a dozen trains were cancelled, including one to Tashkent, the capital of neighbouring Uzbekistan.

Rail authorities in Kyrgyzstan on Monday said that a high-speed train to Moscow that passes through Kazakhstan had been cancelled.


(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel