At least seven people, including three children, were killed in an overnight Russian drone strike on an oil depot in Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv, local authorities said on Saturday.
The seven victims included a family of five — a husband, wife, and their three children — as well as a married couple, Kharkiv region governor Oleh Synyehubov confirmed.
While initial reports suggested the drones had hit a petrol station, local police chief Serhiy Bolvinov later told Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne that they had in fact hit an oil depot, flooding a nearby street with what he called an “infernal lava” of fuel mixed with snow that trapped victims in their homes.
Photo: State Emergency Service of Ukraine
Kharkiv mayor Ihor Terekhov said that a further three people were injured and a total of 15 houses had burnt down as a result of the strike, adding that local authorities would provide accommodation for those left homeless by the “Russian terrorist attack.”
“One oil tank is still full, so the danger remains,” Governor Synyehubov added, detailing that 50 people had already been evacuated from the area and that 200 rescue workers were involved in the cleanup operation.
The southern city of Odesa also came under attack overnight, with local authorities reporting that all drones launched at the city had been downed, but that falling debris caused damage to “port infrastructure,” injuring four people.
The Ukrainian Air Force reported that, of the 31 drones launched at Kharkiv and Odesa, it had managed to down 23.