At least 60 people have been injured in a large explosion at an ammunition depot in Kazakhstan.
A fire broke out at the compound on Thursday evening causing an “explosion of unidentified objects”, the Kazakh defence ministry said in a statement.
Four nearby villages were evacuated following the explosion in the southern region of Jambyl, it added.
The major blast occurred at a warehouse located in a military unit, where “engineering ammunition” was stored.
“As a result of the explosions, no ammunition remains and fragments were blown away,” the ministry added.
Authorities in the region said 60 people, including 12 servicemen, were injured and hospitalised following the explosion. A spokesman for the local authorities told Russian media that no one was killed in the blast.
Major roads close to the scene of the incident were blocked and rail traffic in the area was suspended, local authorities added.
A video shared on Telegram showed a column of smoke rising from a fire amidst trees before a powerful explosion erupted.
Ruslan Shpekbayev, Assistant Minister of Defense of Kazakhstan, was also sent to the region to investigate the cause of the fire.
In 2019, an explosion at an ammunition depot near the town of Arys in the neighbouring region of Turkestan killed two people and injured many others, also prompting the evacuation of tens of thousands.