Emergency services have managed to prevent the spread of a deadly fuel depot fire outside Kiev. One person was killed and three firemen have been reported missing after the blaze triggered a powerful explosion.

Ukraine fuel depot fire
Ukrainian firefighters discuss how to bring the fuel depot fire under control (Ministry of Emergencies of Ukraine/Reuters)

By morning the fire had spread to at least 16 tanks, most of them storing petrol at the depot near Vasylkiv, 30km (19 miles) from Kiev.

"At the depot, entire fuel tanks have been destroyed. Nearby, 100m (330ft) away, there's another fuel depot and the main thing is to prevent the fire reaching it," emergency services chief Valeriy Borysov said in a televised briefing.

Some 62 fire-fighting units and three trains delivering water and supplies have been mobilised, emergency services said.

In a later statement, security official Oleksander Turchynov said: "Firemen have the situation ... under total control." There was no longer any threat of the blaze spreading and emergency services were putting out remaining fires in the depot, he said.

Rescuers started evacuating people from the area within a 2km radius and will widen the exclusion zone to 10km if necessary, security official Oleksandr Turchynov said. He also warned of the threat of the fire spreading to a nearby military facility.

"There is a serious danger ... because 50m from the edge of the fire is a military facility and there is some military arsenal there," he said, adding that they had started removing equipment to places of safety.

Interior Ministry official Zoryan Shkiryak said police were investigating three possible causes for the fire. These included "violations of fuel storage regulations, technical malfunctions or arson." The owner of the depot, BRSM-Nafta, said it believed the fire was the result of an arson attack, aimed at damaging its business.

Ukraine: Huge fire at petrol storage near Kiev leaves several firemen dead IBTimes UK