Fire erupts at US ammo depot in Baghdad, setting off series of blasts

Fire erupts at US ammo depot in Baghdad, setting off series of blasts
October 10th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Fire erupts at US ammo depot in Baghdad, setting off series of blasts

Fire erupts at US ammo depot in Baghdad, setting off series of blasts
Media: The Associated Press


Date: 10 October 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq_A fire broke out at an ammunition depot at a U.S. base in

southern Baghdad on Tuesday night, setting off a series of explosions from
detonating tank and artillery shells that shook buildings miles away. The
U.S. military said there were no immediate reports of casualties.

It was not clear whether the depot at Forward Operating Base Falcon was hit
by an attack. The cause of the fire was not immediately known, said Lt. Col,

Christopher C. Garver, a military spokesman.

Explosions from detonating tank and artillery ordnance and small-arms
ammunition stored at the site went off for hours afterward.

Large flames and smoke rose from the region, and flashes from the blasts and
showers of sparks were visible on the horizon visible several kilometers
(miles) away in central Baghdad, where the force of the blasts could be
felt. The blasts came at time sporadically, at times in rapid succession,
lasting into the night. Helicopters were seen in the night sky flying over
the area.

The blaze broke out in an ammunition holding area, where material is kept
temporarily before distribution to the units at Falcon, where more than
three battalions are located, said Lt. Col. Jonathan Withington, a spokesman
at the base. He would not give a specific number of troops.

"There is a lot of ammunition there, but it's not a full storage depot," he
said. "This does not degrade our operational ability at all." He would not
give exact figures on the amount of ammunition or the number of troops at
the base, saying only that "more than three battalions" were stationed there
at the time of the fire.

"There is an investigation into the cause of the fire," he said.

Falcon is located in a former commercial trucking depot in a sprawling
industrial area at the southern entrance of Baghdad, near the violence-torn
district of Dora, where U.S. troops have been focusing in a 2-month-old
sweep of the capital neighborhood-by-neighborhood aimed at rooting out
militants and weapons.

Iraqi military officials said no evacuations of residents were ordered from
the Dora area.

Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani went on Iraqi television, saying,
"The situation is under control."

"There is an alert to security forces to provide any help to the residents
of the area. We are waiting for information from the Americans" on the
cause, he said.

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