KIEV, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The explosions at an ammunition warehouse in Ukraine's eastern Kharkov region are endangering the environment in the area, Ukrainian Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Ostap Semerak said on Tuesday.
"After this accident, the area will require environmental rehabilitation," Semerak said in an interview to local media.
He said that the explosions of shells and mines have affected the water, soil and air in the territories surrounding the depot, which contains about 138,000 tons of ammunition.
In the same time, Semerak noted that the area will be completely suitable for habitation after elimination of accident's consequences as there were no chemical weapons at the warehouse.
The explosions started at artillery storage sites at the military base near the town of Balakleya on March 23, triggering a massive fire and the subsequent detonation of the ammunition.
The fire at the base had been already extinguished, but sporadic blasts of the shells and mines which were scattered around the ammunition depot still happen. The operation to clear the area from the unexploded ordnance is underway.