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article imagePrivate charged in Russian military range shell blasts

By Anne Sewell     Oct 11, 2012 in World
Orenburg - An army conscript has confessed to ignoring the ban on smoking in explosion-risk areas of the military base and has been charged with causing the massive explosions near Orenburg, Russia on Tuesday.
Digital Journal reported on the explosions in Central Russia's Orenburg region, where 4,000 tons of shells were detonated, causing broken windows in surrounding buildings and the evacuation of nearby towns.
It has now been confirmed that a cigarette was the cause of the blasts.
Military investigators have brought criminal charges against Private Aleksandr Kasatkin over the explosions at the Donguz range on Tuesday.
Representatives of the Military Investigative Department of the Russian Investigative Committee told Interfax on Thursday that Kasatkin “surrendered to military detectives in the course of the preliminary inquiry.”
The report continued that “he and a fellow serviceman ignored the ban on smoking in explosion-risk places” when unloading munitions at the missile artillery depot.
Investigators said that “he dropped a cigarette butt on the ground without making sure that it was extinguished. Ten minutes later several crates with munitions caught fire.”
In the blast on Tuesday, more than 4,000 tons of ammunition exploded at a disposal site in Russia's Orenburg region causing a temporary evacuation of residents in the area. The explosions left two 300m-wide holes in the ground, and apparently blew the missile depot apart.
The blasts reportedly injured an officer, who suffered bruising.
Kasatkin faces three years in prison if convicted.
More about Russia, Orenburg, Military base, Explosion, Blasts
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