Nearly 200 people have requested medical assistance after sustaining injuries in a strike targeting the Ukrainian city of Novaya Kakhovka, the local administration’s head, Vladimir Leontyev, has claimed.
He added that local authorities did not count “minor scratches,” referring to light wounds that were treated on the spot. At least seven people died in the attack, carried out by Kiev, the media reported.
“Today, 187 people injured [in the strike] sought [medical assistance],” Leontyev told TASS, adding that the authorities managed to provide the necessary aid to only 90 of them.
Plumes of smoke are still rising over the area hit by the Ukrainian missile strike in the early hours of Tuesday, a local administration head in the Kherson region told TASS on Tuesday, adding that the area is still being rocked by explosions. The attack hit a cluster of warehouses in the town of Novaya Kakhovka, the local authorities said.
The storage facilities housed, among other things, saltpeter – a similar substance caused a massive blast in Beirut in 2020, which leveled a large part of the city and killed hundreds. In Novaya Kakhovka, in addition to those killed, the explosion damaged a local hospital and church and left over 270 people homeless, according to Leontyev.
The Ukrainian authorities reported that a Russian ammunition depot had exploded in the city after being targeted by Kiev’s forces.
Local emergency teams and military personnel are still clearing the rubble and demining the area, Leontyev said, adding that the number of casualties could rise. Many people remain trapped under rubble, he told TASS. According to Russian media, the Ukrainian strike also destroyed a warehouse where 35 tons of humanitarian aid, including food for inhabitants of the city, were stored.
According to the local authorities, hundreds of houses, several kindergartens, two schools, and two markets were damaged in the attack. At least two apartment blocks are now beyond repair and will have to be taken down, the city administration said, adding that many private houses were “totally destroyed.” A local factory producing equipment for hydroelectric plants was “destroyed” as well, Leontyev said.
The local administration head blasted the attack as a “terrorist act against the civilian population,” adding that it is a “crime that will make its way into the history books.”
The US-made HIMARS multiple-launch rocket systems were used in the Ukrainian strike, the local authorities claimed.
According to the Pentagon, the US has provided Kiev with eight HIMARS systems since the beginning of the conflict in February. Last week, however, Russian authorities claimed they destroyed two of these rocket systems in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).
Just a day before the strike on Novaya Kakhovka, authorities in the DPR accused Ukrainian forces of using the US-made systems in a attack that killed three civilians involved in a humanitarian mission.
Novaya Kakhovka, a regional center, came under Russian control on February 24, the first day of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. Previously, there had not been any information in open sources that there were warehouses containing saltpeter in the city.