Kyiv, Mar 4 (EFE).- A fire broke out at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine on Friday after it came under attack by Russian forces, prompting officials to warn of nuclear disaster.
“Russian army is firing from all sides upon Zaporizhzhia NPP, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Fire has already broke out,” Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.
“If it blows up, it will be 10 times larger than Chornobyl! Russians must IMMEDIATELY cease the fire, allow firefighters, establish a security zone!”
Dmitry Orlov, the mayor of nearby town Energodar, wrote on his Telegram account that “as a result of continuous enemy shelling of buildings and units of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is on fire.”
Orlov had earlier reported heavy fighting at the entrances to the plant, and said National Guards were maintaining their defense.
The mayor said that there are victims, but that they cannot yet be quantified.
He said that “a column of enemy vehicles” was heading in the direction of the nuclear power plant and that heavy gunfire was heard in the city.
On Thursday, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi appealed for “an immediate halt to the use of force at Enerhodar” and called on the military forces operating there to “refrain from violence near the nuclear power plant.”
On Wednesday, hundreds of employees of the power plant tried to prevent the Russian army from entering the plant. EFE