One killed in blast at FSB building in southern Russia

March 17, 2023 6:23 am

Specialists extinguish fire following an explosion in a building belonging to the border patrol section of Russia's FSB federal security service in a built-up district of the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, Russia, March 16, 2023. [Source: Reuters]

At least one person was killed and two were injured in a blast and fire at a building belonging to Russia’s FSB security service in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, according to officials quoted by Russian news agencies.

Footage captured by Reuters showed thick black smoke billowing into the air near residential buildings and a shopping centre in Rostov, capital of a region that adjoins parts of eastern Ukraine where battles with Russia are raging.

The FSB, whose roles include internal security and counter-terrorism, said in a statement that fuel and lubricants had caught fire in a workshop, causing an explosion and the partial collapse of the building housing its border patrol section.

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Rostov Governor Vasily Golubev said the fire appeared to have been caused by an electrical short-circuit, and that nearby buildings had been evacuated while the fire burned.

Russian news agencies quoted emergency services as saying one person had been killed and two more injured.

Russia has reported sporadic fires at oil and gas installations on Russian territory near Ukraine, as well as attacks on its railways, since starting what it calls its “special military operation” last year.

Moscow has sometimes accused Kyiv of cross-border attacks with drones. Last month, President Vladimir Putin told the FSB to do more to counter what he said was increasing espionage and sabotage by Ukraine and the West.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, denied that Ukraine was responsible for the blast in Rostov, tweeting: “Ukraine doesn’t interfere, but watches with pleasure…”