Russian workers killed in incident during nuclear weapons testing

Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom confirmed on Saturday (10th August) that five of its employees have been killed in an accident during tests on a military site in northern Russia, Reuters has reported. 

The accident, the second such event at a Russian arms complex this week highlights the decrepit state of military infrastructure. The accident occurred during the engineering and technical support of isotope power sources on a liquid propulsion system, Rosatom said in a statement. 

It was later revealed by Russian media that the accident took place during a rocket test on a sea platform. 

The rocket’s fuel caught fire after the test causing it to detonate and the explosion threw several people into the sea, TASS news agency cited Rosatom as saying.

The statement did not give details of the isotope power sources. 

A further three staff members suffered injuries, including burns, and were receiving medical treatment in specialised facilities, it said. 

Russian authorities had previously said two people had been killed in the incident and that a nearby city had reported a rise in radiation levels when a liquid propellant rocket engine blew up at a testing site in the Arkhangelsk region on Thursday. 

Authorities said they had been forced to shut down part of a bay in the White Sea to shipping as a result. 

Local residents have been stocking up on iodine, used to reduce the effects of radiation exposure, after the accident, regional media have reported. 

Russia’s Ministry of Defence has given few details of the incident. 

Read also:

Russian arms depot explodes as military infrastructure collapses

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