Russian E-commerce Firm Ozon Assesses Damages After Massive Warehouse Fire



MOSCOW – Russian e-commerce company Ozon said on Thursday it was still assessing the economic damage from a huge fire at its warehouse near Moscow, but that there were no significant risks to its liquidity and operational activities.

At least one person was killed and 13 injured in the blaze, the RIA news agency quoted a source in the emergency services as saying on Wednesday.

Ozon said on Wednesday it had evacuated more than 1,000 warehouse employees, with 12 having to seek medical assistance. Two employees were taken to hospital and one had been discharged, it said on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, nothing is known yet about the fate of the two people who were in the warehouse at the time of the fire,” Ozon said. “We are in touch with their loved ones. We want to believe in a miracle.”

The blaze covered an area of 55,000 square meters at a fulfillment center north west of Moscow, where Ozon handles and processes thousands of products. The company has stepped up capacity at other distribution centers, it said.

Ozon said goods and equipment in the warehouse were insured for up to 11 billion roubles ($182.6 million).

“Ozon’s liability is also insured in the case of harm to life, health and property of third parties for up to 1 billion roubles,” the company said.

Ozon said it was working with authorities to establish the cause of the fire. RIA had reported that emergency services were considering arson as the likeliest cause.

($1 = 60.2500 roubles)

(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Jan Harvey and Jane Merriman)

Photograph: Smoke rises over a burning warehouse of the online retailer Ozon in Istra Municipal District, northwest Moscow Region, Russia, on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. The fire erupted at the warehouse belonging to Russia’s leading online retailer Ozon. Photo credit: AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko.

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