A freight train loaded with ammunition meant to be scrapped burst into flames Wednesday, disrupting railroad traffic and spraying shrapnel around tracks in the Novosibirsk region.
One wagon was completely destroyed and five were damaged in the blast, which occurred at about 8 a.m. Moscow time 100 kilometers from the regional capital, Novosibirsk, RIA-Novosti reported, citing the Defense Ministry.
No casualties were reported, and defense officials said the area had been cordoned off while the damage could be assessed. Russian Railways temporarily halted traffic on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, the company said in a statement.
A source in the regional police told Interfax that shrapnel from the exploded 30-millimeter rounds had dispersed over a radius of 500 meters and that a fault in the braking system of the freight train likely caused the ammunition to explode.
Fifty-two inhabitants of the village of Tikhomirovo, located roughly 2 kilometers from the scene of the blast, were evacuated to a nearby school, according to the news agency .
Novosibirsk region Governor Vasily Yurchenko flew out to the site of the explosion Wednesday morning, and soldiers and emergency situations officials have been urgently dispatched there also, the Novosibirsk region's press service wrote on its website.