Russia Denies Reports of Explosion at its Pacific Fleet Base
[Brief] Russian defense officials have denied reports of an explosion during a munitions transfer at the port of Fokino, a closed city southeast of Vladivostok that serves as a key base for the Russian Pacific Fleet.
"The information published in some media outlets that torpedoes allegedly exploded when they were unloaded from a large anti-submarine warfare ship in the Primorye Region has nothing to do with reality," the ministry said in a statement to state-owned outlet TASS, stressing that no incidents involving munitions had occurred.
REN TV - a major broadcast network owned by Russia's National Media Group - reports that a major explosion occurred at the base at Fokino on March 10. According to the outlet, the incident occurred when a floating crane was unloading mines and torpedoes from a "large anti-submarine ship." The crane boom fell and damaged the vessel's hull, leading to water ingress and risk of capsizing, according to REN TV.
The outlet reports that seven were injured in the incident. The cause, it said, is not believed to be related to any security breach or failure to follow safe handling procedures.
REN TV reported that the Russian Defense Ministry has not answered its questions about injured personnel.