>Explosion On Board LSM Kirovograd (UPDATED)

>According to UNIAN news agency there was a blast on board of Ukrainian Polnochny (Project 773) class LSM Kirovohrad. The details are not much, but I believe more information will come soon.

Four servicemen were severely injured when two artillery shells exploded onboard the medium-sized assault landing ship Kirovohrad of the Ukrainian Navy during a ground target firing exercise which was held yesterday at the Crimean training ground Opuk as part of the active phase of the Interaction 2010 military exercise, a Ukrainian Defence Ministry source has told UNIAN.

The source said that the servicemen had been admitted to military hospitals in Sevastopol and Simferopol in grave condition.

UNIAN reported earlier that the active phase of the Interaction 2010 exercise for military command bodies, troops and forces had been held at the Crimean training ground Opuk yesterday.

UPDATE: The Russian RIA Novosti reports that the cause of the blast on board of Kirovograd was two artillery shells that were expired. The accident happened during gunnery exercises.

The injured servicemen have been reportedly admitted to hospital in a grave condition.

“Firing expired artillery shells is a common practice that allows to kill two birds with one stone: both to train and to get rid of obsolete ammunition,” the source said, adding that the incident would have been prevented if drill monitors had checked the ammunition’s expiration date.

“During gunnery exercises, a ship is strongly shaken – even ceiling lamps in corridors fall down. It’s quite possible that the expired shells detonated. Fortunately, they were quite small, and no one was killed,” he said

Well, the Ukrainian Navy may have lost one of her major assets while trying getting rid of old ammunition. I hope the gravely ill sailors may get well soon.

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