KIEV, June 9 (Xinhua) -- A huge fire and explosion on Tuesday at a fuel depot outside the Ukrainian capital of Kiev may have caused heavy casualties, authorities said.
The explosion near Vasylkiv town, 38 km south of Kiev, was "gigantic" and "firemen have died," said Interior Minister Arsen Avakov on Twitter.
According to the State Service for Emergencies, the explosion happened at around 8 a.m. local time (GMT 0500) at the oil depot, which stores about 8,500 cubic meters of oil, triggering a massive fire.
A total of 17 oil tanks were involved in the fire, with each estimated to hold from 50 to 900 cubic meters of fuel.
As of midday local time (GMT 0900) one person was confirmed dead following the explosion, and 10 were taken to local hospitals with burns, including four employees of the oil depot and six firefighters.
The Interior Ministry said it has lost contact with three firefighters.
The authorities have urged people to leave the dangerous area while firefighters are preparing to use foam to stop the blaze spreading to another storage depot and a forest nearby.
More than 300 rescuers and firefighters are working on the spot.