Four killed, 10 hospitalised in forest fires in eastern Ukraine

KYIV, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Four people died and ten were hospitalised as a series of forest fires swept a large area in the eastern Ukrainian Luhansk region, Ukraine’s emergency service said on Thursday.

The fires threatened 22 settlements and engulfed an area of about 18,000 hectares, the service said in a statement, adding that 120 people were evacuated.

In July, one person died and nine were hospitalised in a similar forest fire that swept through the Luhansk region, destroying 80 dacha holiday cottages and 30 houses in two villages.

This spring, forest fires around the defunct Chernobyl nuclear plant in the north of the country and elsewhere pushed pollution levels in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv to the worst in the world. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)