Russia airstrike hits Ukraine chemical plant, kills 8 in Kiev shopping center

A Ukrainian chemical plant became the target of a Russian airstrike early Monday — triggering a terrifying evacuation as potentially deadly ammonia leaked for hours, local officials said.

The Sumy factory was hit just hours after at least eight died when a shopping center in the capital Kiev was demolished and as many as 80 foreign and Ukrainian troops were killed in a cruise missile attack on a military training center in Rivne, officials said.

“Warning! Ammoniaklek,” Dmytro Zhyvytsky, the regional governor of Sumy, warned just after 4 a.m. after the attack on the Sumykhimprom factory on the outskirts of the city that had about 263,000 people.

Those within a 3-mile radius of the factory were told to flee or take shelter in a closed-off area, with first aid tips for anyone affected.

Shelling caused an ammonia leak at a chemical plant.
Twitter/Uinform
Residents of the northern Ukrainian city of Novoselytsya have to seek shelter after shelling caused an ammonia leak at a nearby chemical plant, an official said, as intense fighting with Russian forces continues in the area.
The air raid triggered a terrifying evacuation as potentially deadly ammonia leaked for hours.
Twitter / UKinform
Rescuers work at the site of a shopping center damaged by an air raid
The attack also damaged at least six homes and four schools.
Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS
Residents of the northern Ukrainian city of Novoselytsya have to seek shelter after shelling caused an ammonia leak at a nearby chemical plant, an official said, as intense fighting with Russian forces continues in the area.
The Sumy factory was hit in a shopping center just hours after at least eight died.
Twitter / UKinform

Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia in the air “can lead to blindness, lung damage or death,” notes the New York Department of Health.

Once the emergency was lifted, Zhyvytsky said the leak was “a result of Russian enemy shelling” that hit a 50-ton tank containing the corrosive chemical. A factory worker was injured, but details were not disclosed.

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 foreign ministry said on Monday it “strongly condemns” the attack on the chemical plant and Russia for spreading “dirty” lies “as information concealment to commit more crimes”.

We call on the world community to be vigilant 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 “military special operation”, but shocking footage showed a 10-storey shopping center in Kiev being completely destroyed overnight.

Dead bodies lie on the ground at the scene of a bombing in a shopping center
Dead bodies lie on the ground at the site of a shopping center bombing, March 21, 2022.
REUTERS/Marko Djurica
Destroyed cars are seen at the site of a shopping center after it was hit in a military strike
Destroyed cars at the site of a shopping center after it was hit in a military attack.
REUTERS/Vladyslav Musiienko
Firefighters are seen in the Retroville shopping center
An Agence France-Presse reporter saw at least six bodies in front of the mall.
ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images

Dramatic surveillance footage shows a fireball erupting late Sunday from the Retroville shopping center in the capital’s Podil district, turning the sky orange with flames for hours.

At dawn, the 10-story mall was a complete shell as the entire area around it was completely bombarded and covered in debris.

An Agence France-Presse reporter saw at least six bodies in front of the mall, and Mayor Vitali Klitschko said at least eight people were confirmed dead.

At least six houses and four schools next to the mall were damaged in the attack, the mayor said, who imposed another curfew.

Residents of the northern Ukrainian city of Novoselytsya must seek shelter after shelling caused an ammonia leak at a nearby chemical plant
A Ukrainian chemical plant became the target of a Russian airstrike.
Twitter / UKinform
A rescuer works on a shopping center site damaged by an airstrike as the Russian attack on Ukraine continues, in Kiev, Ukraine
At dawn, the 10-story mall was a complete shell.
Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS
destruction caused after shelling of a shopping center, in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, March 21, 2022.
Destruction caused after shelling of a shopping center in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, March 21, 2022.
AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd
Firefighters carry a loader as they make their way over the rubble after Russian shelling that destroyed the Retroville shopping center
Firefighters carry a ladder as they make their way over the rubble after Russian shelling that destroyed the Retroville shopping center.
ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images
Rescuers work at the site of a shopping center damaged by an air raid
Rescuers work at the site of a shopping center damaged by an air raid.
Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS

Military experts believe airstrikes on the capital have intensified over the apparent failure of Russia’s planned ground offensive.

Konashenkov, the Russian military spokesman, also said a nighttime 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 Rivne’s regional military administration, confirmed a double Russian missile strike on a training center early Monday, but did not give details of injuries or deaths.

The Maxar satellite image, taken on March 14, 2022 and released on March 16, 2022, shows a damaged church and residential apartment buildings in Volnovakha, Ukraine.
A satellite image shows a damaged church and residential apartment buildings in Volnovakha, Ukraine.
Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Tech/AFP via Getty Images
Firefighters stand on a destroyed armored military vehicle the Retroville shopping center after a Russian attack on the northwest of the capital Kiev on March 21, 2022. -
At least eight people have been killed in the nighttime bombing of a shopping center in Kiev.
ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images
The site of a destroyed shopping center can be seen after it was hit in a military attack in Kiev's Podilskyi district
The site of a destroyed shopping center can be seen after it was hit in a military attack in Kiev’s Podilskyi district.
REUTERS/Vladyslav Musiienko

With Post wires

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