Sourced and translated from https://www.gazeta.ru/social/2017/08/03/10816081.shtml
‘Две россиянки погибли при взрыве в Абхазии’
Two tourists from St. Petersburg were killed in an explosion at an ammunition depot in Abkhazia. At the time of the emergency, they were riding horses close to the warehouse. In total, 60 people were injured by the explosion, including two children. Among the victims were 35 Russians.
Two tourists from Russia were killed in explosions at an ammunition depot in Abkhazia, MES representative Mizan Lomia said. At the time of the explosion, three women were riding horses in the vicinity of the ammunition depot.
“A search for three people was conducted. It turns out that they were horseback riding in the territory of the explosion. We found the bodies of two of the deceased – Elena Polyakova, born in 1970 and Elena Timofeeva, born in 1962. They are both from St. Petersburg” – reports RIA Novosti on Lomia’s words.
The third missing person – a resident of Podolsk – was found alive with a fractured arm.
A representative of the Abkhazian Ministry of Emergency Situations noted that the owners of the hotel where the women were staying confirmed that they had not returned to the hotel on the 2nd of August.
According to the republic’s Ministry of Health, a total of 60 people were injured at the Abkhazian ammunition stockpile, two of them being children. Among the wounded were 35 Russians, of which 27 were hospitalized. According to the press secretary of the Ministry of Health Rustam Zantaria, there will be no need to transport them back to Russia.
“Among the wounded, the majority of the injuries are of medium or mild severity. There are two or three people who have sustained heavy injuries, but nothing life-threatening.” Zantaria said. Most of the wounded were hit by shrapnel.
Four rescuers, who were the first to arrive at the scene, received concussions.
The press secretary stressed that the source of the fire had been extinguished, and that the ammunition was no longer exploding.
Lomia said that a group of rescuers, employees of the Abkhaz Defense Ministry, and a military detachment from a Russian base in Gudauta district had all arrived at the scene of the incident.
“Someone was helped with the houses, because, as we learned, there is a boarding house next to us, where holidaymakers were staying. Rescuers from the Ministry of Emergency Situations were sent to these hotels, “he said.
Recall that on Wednesday, 2nd of August, at about 16.30 (Moscow time), shells began to explode in the ammunition depot of the Ministry of Defense of Abkhazia in the village of Primorsky, Gudauta district. As a result of the explosions, which lasted no less than five hours, a fire broke out in the warehouse.
As an eyewitness told RT TV, everyone thought that a transformer had exploded after the first blast. “I was on the border with Russia, when everything shuddered, and everyone was frightened. I myself live in Pitsunda, and there everyone first thought that the transformer exploded, but after the second bang – nothing was clear at all.” he said, describing the events.
Russian facilities were not damaged from this emergency. “In the aftermath of the explosion in the ammunition depots of the Abkhaz Defense Ministry in Gudauta district, it has been determined that the personnel and military facilities of the Russian military base were not affected. At present, the command of the Russian military base is being organized in cooperation with the military department of the republic, as we attempt to eliminate the consequences of this crisis situation, and provide assistance to the victims, “said Colonel Vadim Astafyev, the chief of the press service of the Southern Military District.
President of Abkhazia Raul Khajimba visited the Sukhumi Republic hospital to see some of the hospitalized people who had been affected by the explosion in the ammunition depot. Prior to this, Khajimba visited the exploded ammunition depot of the Defense Ministry of Abkhazia, and instructed Prime Minister Beslan Bartsits to create a special commission. This will determine the severity and extent of the damage, as well as the amount of compensation that will be paid to the victims, including the Russian citizens involved.
The governor of the Krasnodar region Veniamin Kondratyev announced the willingness of Russians in regional medical institutions to accept victims of this explosion. “If there is a need, hospitals in Sochi are ready to receive Abkhazian victims from this explosion of ammunition. Medical institutions in the Kuban region are ready to provide any necessary medical assistance, including high-tech assistance” he said, adding that the medical institutions of Kuban have all the necessary medicines, as well as trained medical personnel.
The Federal Agency for Tourism urged tourists in Abkhazia to take caution in connection with the incident. “The Federal Agency for Tourism is investigating the situation after the explosion at the ammunition depot in the village of Primorsky, in Gudauta district. We are staying in touch with the Situational Crisis Center of the Russian Foreign Ministry” said adviser to the head of ‘Ros-tourism’ Svetlana Sergeeva. ‘Ros-tourism’ called on the citizens of Russia “who are now vacationing in Abkhazia, not to panic, to remain calm and to stay cautious.”