Oil Reserves Fire in Irkutsk Forces Evacuations (Video)


A video from the scene shows a raging fire and clouds of black smoke at an oil reserve in Irkutsk.

Authorities are trying to contain a fire at an oil reserve in the Irkutsk region's Angarsk district where 300 employees have been forced to evacuated.

At 12:08 p.m. local time Wednesday a storage tank containing about 5,000 cubic meters of crude oil caught fire at a site operated by the company Diteco, the Emergency Situations Ministry's regional office said.

The Emergency Situations Ministry's Andrei Shutov said Wednesday that no personnel have been injured in the fire.

Thick smoke from burning oil has disrupted traffic on the Baikal federal highway that passes 600 meters away from the burning oil tank, Interfax reported.

The burning reserve is one of 10 large oil tanks at the site, three of which are located close to the blaze. Fire brigades have been cooling the other tanks with water while preparing to combat the main fire.

He stressed that the fire poses no threat to the general population as the nearest residential homes were located in the town of Angarsk 15 kilometers away from the site.

Meanwhile, local traffic police have been directing traffic on the Baikal highway after smoke billowing out from the fire limited visibility on the road, the Interior Ministry's news service said.

Seventy-six firefighters from various regional and local emergency services have been dispatched to put out the blaze.

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