Russian missile failure killed 5-8 scientists

The scale of the disaster surrounding the failure of Russia's much vaunted nuclear powered cruise missile programme is now becoming understood.

Russian news agencies cited authorities as advising residents of the nearby village of Nyonoksa to leave while clear-up work was being carried out.  

Russia’s state weather service also said on Tuesday (August 13th) that radiation levels in the nearby city of Severodvinsk had spiked by up to 16 times last Thursday, while medics who treated victims of the accident have been sent to Moscow for a medical examination, the TASS news agency reported. 

It said the medics had signed non-disclosure agreements about the nature of the accident.

The experimental weapons system appears to have malfunctioned on launch, killing five, or possibly eight Rosatom scientific staff, depending on which reports one believes, and injuring at least three, although it is speculated that the loss of life may indeed have been higher. 

Russia's Interfax news agency today quoted local authorities as saying.“We have received a notification... about the planned activities of the military authorities.

“In this regard, residents of Nyonoksa were asked to leave the territory of the village from August 14.” This suggests a further test may be imminent.

Russia has said the missile will have an “unlimited range” and be able to overcome any defences, calls the missile the 9M730 Burevestnik (Storm Petrel). The NATO alliance has designated it the SSC-X-9 Skyfall.

This is the latest of many Russian weapons system failures in recent years.

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor of EU Today.

An experienced journalist and published author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

Gary's latest book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon

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