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Russia arms depot fire leaves one missing, thousands evacuated

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Russia arms depot fire leaves one missing, thousands evacuated
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Moscow: One person was missing Tuesday and several more were injured after a fire and huge explosions at a Siberian ammunition depot, as thousands of evacuated residents waited to return to their homes.

Monday's fire at the depot holding gunpowder charges for artillery shells near the town of Achinsk in the Krasnoyarsk region was the latest accident to hit Russia's military.

Witnesses have posted footage on the internet showing a huge column of black smoke rising over a forest.

By Tuesday, the explosions had largely stopped but it was too early for residents to return home as the army had to de-mine the affected residential areas, officials said.

Deputy Defence Minister Dmitry Bulgakov said 70 sappers had arrived at the scene to help with the clean-up effort.

He said in televised remarks that said that "human error" was believed to have caused the accident.

Four people including two servicemen had been injured, he added.

Krasnoyarsk Governor Alexander Uss said that one person was missing and a total of 12 people had sought medical assistance.

More than 9,500 people were evacuated from Achinsk and adjacent areas and another 6,000 people left on their own, regional officials said.

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