The garrison, in the region of Ryazan, went up in flames as a result of a grass fire, state news agency Tass reported, with munitions exploding. A Western Military District statement said: “A gusty wind spread the fire to the artillery ammunition storage site. The military garrison’s on-duty fire-fighting team started to extinguish the blaze but failed to stop the fire outbreak. “Sporadic munition explosions are currently observed on the technical premises of the military base.
The fire started close to the settlement of Zheltukhino just before 12noon GMT.
Reports from the scene suggest there have been no injuries – but that large numbers of military and civilian personnel have been evacuated.
An emergency services source said: “The fire has not been contained and the shells are exploding about every ten seconds.
A statement said: “Evacuation has been organized in cooperation with Skopinsky District’s authorities.
“First and foremost, all children have been evacuated from the settlements: 130 schoolchildren and 16 younger children.
“All of them are currently with their relatives, in a safe zone.”
The Ryazan region has a total population of just over 1.1 million.
It borders the Moscow oblast to the north-west.
The city of Ryazan is its administrative center.
A massive explosion has ripped through a city in southwest Russia in August, leaving at least 13 injured.
According to the Russian Emergencies Ministry, a propane tank caught fire at a gas station in Volgograd’s Traktorozavodsky district.
Video footage showed a massive ball of fire an huge flames and thick smoke over the scene.