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    UKRAINE FIGHTS SMOKE AFTER ARMAMENT DEPOTS FIRE

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    KIEV, May 13, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - There is no fire in the ammunition depot in the village of Novobogdanovka (Ukrainian's South-East) at the moment. There have been two sites registered where the smoke still comes from, the press service of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry reports.

    The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said 10 explosions had been registered in the depots for the last day; the last explosions came at 4:50 local time.

    Air survey of the site of fire, engineering surface probing of the depots area as well as localization of the smoke and clearing nearby areas of mines were scheduled for Thursday.

    According to experts' estimates, a total area of 370 square kilometers has to be checked. Combat engineers have already found 2.800 explosives.

    The fire in the armament depot No. 275 located near the village of Novobogdanovka took place on Thursday, May 6 at around 12:50 local time.

    The detonation resulted in jet shells flying about 10-40 kilometers away. For security reasons, about 7 thousand men were evacuated from 11 localities, the railway traffic was restricted too.

    At present, all evacuees are back home.

    The Ukrainian General Prosecutor's Office is investigating into the matter. Cases have been brought against the Ukrainian Defense Ministry officials for their duties negligence.

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