Fire sets off Venezuelan arms depot explosion
A fire set off a series of explosions at a military arms depot yesterday, killing one person and leading authorities to evacuate about 10,000 people from the area.
Residents were being evacuated from within a 4-mile perimeter around the depot, Rafael Isea, the governor of Aragua state told state television. “This is a preventive measure because the ammunitions that were detonating are ammunitions that have a powerful impact,’’ Isea said.
The cause of the fire was unclear. State radio reported that firefighters were beginning to extinguish the blaze after a series of smaller explosions.
Soldiers and police blocked exits from a major highway that runs close to the arms depot. Clouds of thick, white smoke rose up from the area near the military facility, floating over green hills above Maracay, a city 60 miles west of the capital, Caracas.