"The fire at the depot has been put out. Dealing with the consequences is underway," said Deputy Defense Minister Ihor Pavlovskyi. According to him, the firefighting was over on Friday morning and measures are being taken to assess the caused damage.
Deputy Chairman of the State Service for Emergency Situations Oleh Melchutskyi said the removal of ordnance in and around Balakliia is to be completed on March 26.
"At the moment, three villages and three out of nine sectors of the town of Balakliia have been cleared. Nine pyrotechnic groups are involved. We plan to finish all the clearing operations on Sunday.
"To this end, we engage six additional pyrotechnic units," he said.
Melchutskyi noted an information campaign had been launched among local residents on the handling of detected ordnance.
As reported, March 23, 2017, an emergency arose at the military ammunition depot of the Defense Ministry in Balakliia, the Kharkiv region, due to explosions of ammunition. Several storage areas of rocket and cannon artillery ordnance (tank and artillery missiles of 125 mm and 152 mm caliber) were impacted by explosion and caught fire, which caused the detonation of the ammunition. Residents of the nearby areas have been evacuated.
Chief Military Prosecutor Anatolii Matios said the emergency in Balakliia was an act of sabotage.
Later, a video of the explosion at Balakliia ammunition depot was published online.