At least seven dead after explosion rips through Russian barracks

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A mysterious fire has killed at least seven people at a two-storey makeshift barracks in the annexed region of Crimea, near to Putin’s beloved Black Sea Fleet headquarters in the port city of Sevastopol. The horrific fire broke out shortly after 2am on Thursday morning while 185 people were inside the dormitory, the RIA news agency reported. Two people were seriously wounded and rushed to hospital, while a further five have been reported missing. It is the latest in a series of unexplained explosions and fires in the Crimean region as Ukrainian forces start to bear down on the land corridor immediately to the north.

Footage of the incident shows emergency services frantically trying to extinguish the fire and rescue those trapped in the blaze.

The fire occurred in the Balaklava municipal district of Sevastopol, which is the port city where Russia’s notorious Black Sea fleet of warships are based.

The fleet has been responsible for carrying out long range missile strikes on Ukrainian cities hundreds of miles behind the frontlines, as well blocking grain shipments from Odessa to the African continent.

A hypersonic Kalibr cruise missile was fired on the western Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia last July from a Black Sea fleet ship, killing at least 23 people, including a four-year-old girl with Down’s Syndrome, after it struck a shopping centre in the middle of the day.

An investigation has been launched by the Russian investigative committee, which probes major crimes, into the cause of the blaze.

Law enforcement agencies have claimed the cause was an electrical appliance short-circuiting.

The blaze spread across 200 square metres, according to local, unconfirmed reports, with dozens of emergency service personnel fighting to stop it.

The port of Sevastopol, as well as nearby regions in Crimea, have suffered increasing numbers of fires and explosions in recent months after Ukrainian forces liberated Kherson in November, which is roughly 100 miles north of the tip of the annexed region.

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