No Smokie Please!!!!


May 13, 2004, 03:20 PM
Smoking Soldiers Ignited Ammo Disaster

Thu May 13, 8:57 AM ET Add Oddly Enough - Reuters to My Yahoo!

KIEV (Reuters) - Two smoking soldiers set off tons of ammunition that killed five people, caused $725 million in damage and sent debris showering across southern Ukraine last week, the emergencies minister said on Tuesday.

A series of blasts hurled debris as far as 25 miles after fire broke out last Thursday at a warehouse complex where 92,000 tons of artillery ammunition was stored.

Blasts were still heard on Tuesday, emergencies minister Hryhory Reva told parliament.

"At about 12 o'clock on Thursday, two servicemen, who were stocking military ammunition, began smoking at their working site. It caused the fire and set off the explosions," he said.

The blasts caused some $725 million in damage to the defense ministry and population in the Zaporizhya region, he said. They destroyed buildings in a two-mile radius, including a local railway station.

A minor gas pipeline was also damaged. Metal fragments and other debris were thrown 40 km, causing fires in nearby towns.

Authorities evacuated some 7,000 people from the surrounding area. People started to return home on Tuesday, five days after the initial blasts.

Some parliamentary deputies have demanded Defense Minister Evhen Marchuk resign because of his inability to turn around the ex-Soviet state's struggling armed forces.

The Ukrainian army has seen its reputation battered in recent years following a series of disasters.

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Henry Bowman
May 13, 2004, 03:23 PM
Should have followed the Surgeon General's warning: "Smoking can be hazardous to your health."

May 13, 2004, 03:32 PM
Yeah, and to anything within 25 miles... :evil:


May 13, 2004, 04:13 PM
If you ask me something dont add up here. What kind of munitions were involved? no way a cig could ignite a shell or a cartridge.

May 13, 2004, 04:26 PM
If they are as sloppy as some 3rd world places I've seen, they likely had leaking powder all over the place.


Idiots got what they deserved. And apparently a lot of folks got what they DIDN'T deserve.


May 13, 2004, 04:28 PM
Did someone witness the incident, and live to tell the tale? That's what's not adding up to me.

May 13, 2004, 04:42 PM
Pre 9/11 I myself would have figured a couple of Darwin Awards were due but now......who knows? There may not be an "Iron Curtain" anymore but nobody likes to admit they let the wolves into the pasture. :scrutiny:

Isn't the train disaster in North Korea still being called an "accident"? The coincidence of a load of diesel fuel along with another load of fertilizer knocking down a power pole just when Dear Leader was supposed to shuffle past is mighty interesting.:uhoh:

May 13, 2004, 07:35 PM
I've seen similar stupidity in our military. During a field-x, I saw a Marine Lcpl sitting on the top of a refueler truck, smoking a cigarette, with his right foot resting on the, "no smoking within 100 feet" sign. He was our ambulance driver!

May 14, 2004, 12:53 AM
This isn't exactly my area of expertise, but I don't think there are too many aimed rounds, even when driven down a great big barrel under perfect conditions, that can go 25 miles. I'm having a hard time figuring out how non-aerodynamic debris can go that far from a series of uncontrolled ammo explosions. Could be, I don't know, but it sounds wrong.

May 14, 2004, 01:29 AM
92,000 tons of artillery shells can make a big boom! No Smoking is sometimes the healthiest option!;)

May 14, 2004, 08:00 AM
the soldiers involved have been properly admonished. Boy! It's getting harder and harder to find good help, ain't it?

M2H, the report mentions a "fire" caused by the smoking. You are right, one cigarette did not set off all that ammo... the fire did.

May 14, 2004, 08:14 AM
I am sue this was a bizarre yet unlucky chain of evens that would make Final Destination fans proud.

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