Company attributes giant oil depot fire to terrorist attack – UPDATE (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

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A fire has broken out at an oil depot in the town of Glevakha, southwest of Kyiv, with the company running the depot attributing it to a terrorist attack.

The report follows numerous terrorist attacks
throughout the nation that Ukrainian authorities blame on Russian intelligence
agencies and their separatist proxies – accusations that the Kremlin denies.

However, the Interior Ministry said the fire could
have been caused by accident and started a criminal
investigation into a possible violation of safety rules.

The fire started on June 8 and continued on the
following day. A column of black smoke was rising high above the horizon over

The State Emergency Service said on June 9 that it was the biggest fire in Ukraine in half a century.

One fuel tank has been extinguished, and another 16 are burning, the service said. Eight of them
have a capacity of 900 cubic meters, and the other eight have a capacity of 50
cubic meters.

The fire spread to nearby forests but was put out there, the service said. The Defense Ministry said that the fire could spread to a military airfield nearby and that military equipment had been evacuated from adjacent military barracks.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said that several
firefighters had been killed without specifying their number. Six injured
firefighters have been sent to a hospital, he said.

“We believe that the fire was caused by external
interference,” said State Oil, the operator of the oil depot. “We think this
case is linked to continuing terrorist attacks at our chain’s facilities.”

The company said earlier that explosive devices had
been found three times at its facilities.

The depot is run by State Oil and owned by another
company, BRSM-Nafta. Ukrainian media link both firms to former Energy and Coal
Industry Minister Eduard Stavytsky, who is wanted in Ukraine on embezzlement
charges, but Stavytsky denies the links.

The blast follows an explosion on a motor boat
near the city of Mariupol in the Sea of Azov on June 7 in which two people were
killed. The military headquarters said the blast had been caused by an
explosive device that was created by Kremlin-backed forces and floated away
from the coast.

Video of a fire at an oil depot in the town of Glevakha, southwest of Kyiv. The company that runs the depot attributes the blaze to a terrorist attack.

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