Ukraine's Kharkiv swept by fire after Russian drones strike petrol station

(Reuters) – Russian drones struck a petrol station in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, late on Friday, triggering a vast fire that engulfed private homes, local officials said.

Officials said drones also hit a hospital and a restaurant in the town of Velykyi Berluk, east of Kharkiv.

In Kharkiv, the head of the local prosecutor’s office, Oleksandr Filchakov, said in a video posted on the Telegram messaging app that three drones hit the petrol station in Nemyshlianskyi district just before 11 p.m.

“There was a great deal of fuel and that’s why there are these dreadful consequences from the fire,” Filchakov said.

One person was injured. Filchakov said that toll could rise as search and rescue operations proceeded through the night.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said 14 private homes had been destroyed and 50 residents evacuated. A video posted by the mayor showed flames and smoke rising over a wide area.

The top military official in Velykyi Burluk, Viktor Tereshchenko, told public broadcaster Suspilne that drones had damaged a hospital and a restaurant. Details on casualties were being clarified.

Officials reported an attack on a hospital in the town last week, prompting the evacuation of dozens of patients.

Reuters was not able to independently confirm details of the attack. Russia did not immediately respond to a request for comment but says it does not deliberately target civilian sites.

Kharkiv has been under attack regularly since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and has been a frequent target of Russian assaults in recent weeks.

In the Black Sea port of Odesa, the regional governor said a drone attack had injured one person.

Three people were reported killed in shelling earlier in the day in a village in Sumy region on the border with Russia.


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