Russia evacuates thousands after blasts at army munitions store

MOSCOW, June 18 (REUTERS) - Some 6,000 people were evacuated in Russia's south-western Samara region on Tuesday after ammunition explosions shook a military training area, the Emergencies Ministry said.

The ministry said five explosions initially took place at the site on Tuesday evening, triggering a fire that was still causing blasts hours later.

Footage aired on Russia's state television showed plumes of dark smoke raising from the site, where the ministry said some 11 million pieces of ammunition was stored.

"Some 6,000 people were evacuated from a nearby village," ministry official Vladimir Stepanov said. "More than 30 people sought medical help, four of them are hospitalised."

Officials said it was not clear what caused the explosions but gave no indication of foul play.