Russia: Five Killed in mysterious Rocket Test accident: The RIA news agency reported that on early Saturday, 10 August 2019, Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom said that during tests on a military site in northern Russia five of its staff members had been killed in an accident. Citing Rosatom, RIA said that the accident occurred during tests on a liquid propellant rocket engine.
It further added that Rosatom said that during the accident further three of its staff had received injuries of varying degrees of seriousness, including burns. However, they were receiving the necessary medical treatment in specialized facilities.
Previously, Russian authorities had said that two people had been killed in the incident and that a nearby city had reported a rise in radiation levels when the rocket engine blew up at a testing site in the Archangelsk region on Thursday. They further said that they had been forced to shut down part of a bay in the White Sea to shipping as a result.
According to the report of a regional media, local residents have been stocking up iodine that is used to reduce the effects of radiation exposure after the accident. Although the defense ministry initially said that no harmful chemicals were released into the atmosphere and that radiation levels were unchanged, however, the authorities in the nearby city of Severodvinsk reported it as a brief spike in radiation.
Meanwhile, no official explanation has been given for the reason why such an accident would cause radiation to spike. The radiation statement put out by the city of Severodvinsk disappeared from the Internet on Friday without explanation. According to the Kommersant newspaper, an unidentified naval officer said that the accident could have occurred at a testing site at sea and that the explosion of a rocket could have caused a toxic fuel spill.
Meanwhile, Russia media have said that the rocket engine explosion may have occurred at a weapons testing area near the village of Nyonoksa. Those reports also said that an area near Nyonoksa is used for tests on weapons, including ballistic and cruise missiles that are used by the Russian navy. Taking data from the Emergencies Ministry, Greenpeace has said showed radiation levels had risen 20 times above the normal level in Severodvinsk around 30 kilometres (18 miles) from Nyonoksa.