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Thousands Evacuated As Ukraine Ammunition Depot Explodes

Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said "external factors" were behind the incident.

28/09/2017 9:15 AM AEST | Updated 28/09/2017 9:16 AM AEST

More than 30,000 people have been forced to flee a massive blaze sparked by explosions at a military ammunition depot in central Ukraine.

Footage shows a ball of flames bursting into the sky on Tuesday at a military base near Kalynivka in the Vynnytsya region, 270 kilometers west of Kiev.

One person is believed to have been injured in the blast and the airspace over the region has been closed, according to officials.

Arriving in the region hours later, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said "external factors" were behind the incident but urged people not to panic, adding that "there are enough transport to move citizens who want to go to a safe place".

POOL New / Reuters
Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman meets with local residents at a collection point for evacuees.

Gleb Garanich / Reuters
Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) ride on the road as smoke rise over a warehouse storing ammunition for multiple rocket launcher systems.

Earlier this year more than 20,000 people were evacuated following a similar explosion at an arms depot in the country's east, 100km from fighting against Russian-backed separatists.

Conflict between the pro-Russian rebels and government forces erupted in 2014, with more than 10,000 people having been killed and more than 1 million displaced.

Gleb Garanich / Reuters
Smoke and flames rise over a warehouse storing ammunition for multiple rocket launcher systems at a military base in the town of Kalynivka.

Stringer . / Reuters

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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