© Reuters. Local residents react near a burned house at the site of a Russian drone strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine February 10, 2024. REUTERS/Sofiia Gatilova
KYIV (Reuters) -A Ukrainian couple and their three small children were killed in a fire after a Russian drone attack on the northeastern city of Kharkiv hit an oil depot, triggering blazes and damaging residential houses, officials said on Saturday.
An elderly couple living in the same street as the family were also killed, and three other people were wounded in the city.
The drones struck late on Friday, causing several large fires, and burning at least 15 residential houses in the east of Kharkiv, said Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Synehubov.
The family of five who were killed lived in one of the houses on Kotelnia street in the eastern part of the city, said
Serhii Bolvinov, head of the investigative department of the National Police in the region.
Bolvinov, speaking to reporters in the street that was burnt down, said the children were aged 7, 4 and 10 months.
The Ukrainian air force said that air defence and mobile groups of drone hunters shot down 23 out of 31 Russian-launched drones, which were targeting the Kharkiv region and also the Odesa region in the south.
Oleh Kiper, governor of Odesa region, said the drone attack injured four people and damaged industrial facilities, cars, and some port infrastructure.
In Kharkiv, Synehubov said that several drones hit the oil depot causing the fuel leakage. Firefighters and rescuers worked through the night to extinguish fires and clear through the debris.
Synehubov also said that Russian drones hit a restaurant in the small town of Velykyi Berluk, some 100 km (60 miles) from Kharkiv. He reported no casualties there.
Russia did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Moscow has said its forces do not deliberately target civilian sites.
Kharkiv has been under regular attack since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and has been a frequent target of Russian assaults in recent weeks.