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Videos show a massive fuel tank explosion after a suspected drone strike in Putin's prized resort town

Matthew Loh   

Videos show a massive fuel tank explosion after a suspected drone strike in Putin's prized resort town
  • A major fire erupted at an airport in the Russian resort town of Sochi on Wednesday.
  • Telegram channels published footage of the fiery explosion, saying it was the result of a drone strike.

New footage of an explosion in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi shows the moment the inferno erupted at an airport in the Russian city.

The fire broke out at a fuel and lubricants warehouse at the Adler airport in the early hours of Wednesday, according to Aleksei Kopaigorodskii, the mayor of Sochi.

There were no casualties and the airport has resumed operating "as normal," Kopaigorodskii wrote in a Telegram post on Wednesday.

Officials have not confirmed the cause of the fire, but Russian Telegram channels Baza and SHOT reported that it was the result of a drone strike. The channels did not say in their reports how they obtained this information.

People living nearby said they heard sounds resembling a "moped" shortly before a loud explosion, according to SHOT, which wrote that the fire was burning on a tank with 1,200 tons of fuel.

The channel published footage of what appears to be an object falling onto a fuel tank before light engulfs the camera.

Around 60 firefighters and emergency services personnel worked to contain the fire, which grew no further than around 1,000 square feet, according to Kopaigorodskii.

The Moscow Times reported that the fire occurred at a Rosneft oil depot, and published footage of firefighters battling the flames.

Telegram channels Mash and Caution, News also published several videos shot by nearby residents.

As of Wednesday, no party has stepped forward to claim responsibility for the suspected drone attack, though Russia has been on high alert for what it says are repeated Ukrainian drone strikes.

Kyiv has not said if it's behind the attacks plaguing Russia's airports and facilities, but Ukrainian officials often speak approvingly of the strikes.

It's currently unclear what strategic value the oil depot in Sochi holds. But the resort town, which sits on Russia's border with Georgia and was the host city for the 2014 Winter Olympics, is frequented by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who often hosts foreign dignitaries there.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko met with Putin in Sochi, where they spoke on Wednesday about Russia's warming ties with North Korea.

Russia's Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent outside regular business hours.




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