A Ukrainian chemical plant was targeted by a Russian airstrike early Monday — causing a terrifying evacuation as potentially deadly ammonia leaked for hours, local officials said.
The plant in Sumy was hit just hours after at least eight died when a shopping center was demolished in capital Kyiv — and as many as 80 foreign and Ukrainian troops were killed in a cruise missile strike on a military training center in Rivne, officials said.
“Warning! Ammonia leak,” Sumy regional governor Dmytro Zhyvytsky warned just after 4 a.m. after the attack on the Sumykhimprom plant on the outskirts of the city of about 263,000 people.
Those within a 3-mile radius of the plant were told to either flee or shelter in a sealed area, with tips given on first aid for anyone affected.
Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia in the air “can result in blindness, lung damage or death,” New York’s health department notes.
Once the emergency was lifted, Zhyvytsky said that the leak was “a result of Russian enemy shelling” hitting a 50-ton tank of the corrosive chemical. One plant worker was injured, but details were not revealed.
Russian military spokesman Igor Konashenkov claimed the leak was a “planned provocation” by Ukrainian forces to falsely accuse Russia of a chemical attack.
However, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said early Monday it “strongly condemns” the chemical plant attack and for Russia spreading “foul” lies “as information cover up to commit more crimes.”
“We call upon the world community to be vigilant in order to properly counter the next aggressive plans of the Russian war criminals,” the ministry said.
The Kremlin has also repeatedly denied attacking civilians during its so-called “special military operation,” yet shocking footage showed a 10-story shopping center in Kyiv completely destroyed overnight.
Dramatic surveillance footage shows a fireball erupting from the Retroville shopping center in the capital’s Podil district late Sunday, turning the sky amber from the flames for hours.
By sunrise, the 10-story mall was a complete shell as the whole area around it was completely bombed out and covered in debris.
An Agence France-Presse reporter saw at least six bodies laid out in front of the mall, and Mayor Vitali Klitschko said at least eight people were confirmed dead.
As well as the shopping center, at least six homes and four schools were also damaged in the attack, said the mayor, who enforced another curfew.
Military experts believe the airstrikes have intensified on the capital because of the apparent failure of Russia’s planned ground offensive.
Konashenkov, the Russian military spokesman, also said an overnight cruise missile strike hit a Ukrainian military training center in the Rivne region. He said 80 foreign and Ukrainian troops were killed.
Vitaliy Koval, the head of the Rivne regional military administration, confirmed a twin Russian missile strike on a training center there early Monday but offered no details about injuries or deaths.
With Post wires