Drones Light Up Russian Oil Refinery

Officials blame 'terrorist actions' across the border in Ukraine
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2022 12:14 PM CDT
Drones Set Russian Oil Refinery Ablaze
Russian Emergency Situation ministry's firefighters work at the scene of a fire at the Novoshakhtinsk oil processing plant in the Rostov-on-Don region in Russia, on Wednesday.   (Russian Emergency Ministry Press Service via AP)

Two drones allegedly controlled by Ukraine crashed into a major Russian oil and gas refinery on Wednesday, setting the place ablaze. Footage shared by Russian state media showed black smoke pouring from the Novoshakhtinsk Refinery OAO in the Rostov district, about 5 miles from the border with eastern Ukraine, as firefighters sought to contain the flames. Unconfirmed footage shared on social media also showed a drone "crashing into the refinery, triggering a large blast, followed by fire spreading through the facility," reports the Wall Street Journal.

"As a result of terrorist actions from the Western border of the Rostov region, two unmanned aerial vehicles struck at the technological facilities of Novoshakhtinsk," the plant said, per Reuters. Refinery officials said the first drone struck the plant at 8:40am local time, triggering an explosion and ball of fire, before the second hit 43 minutes later. Russia's TASS news agency, which spoke with local authorities, said the blaze was extinguished before noon local time. No one was injured, according to reports, though the refinery was forced to suspend production amid an evacuation and survey of damage. (More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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