Two dead in rocket test explosion in northern Russian - RIA

Two dead in rocket test explosion in northern Russian - RIA

Officials said radiation levels briefly spiked after the explosion in Severodinvsk, but quickly returned to normal.

The Defence Ministry says the blast happened "during testing of a liquid propellant jet engine".

"Six representatives of the Defense Ministry and of the manufacturer have sustained injuries of varying severity at the scene", the defense ministry said. "Two specialists died from their wounds", it elaborated.

The Ministry said there was no release of radioactive or toxic substances.

Health officials said that no members of the public were affected.

As per the city administration, radiation level rose to 2 microsieverts per hour for about 30 minutes before it returned to its natural level of 0.1 microsieverts per hour.

It is not clear what caused the blasts, although lax safety precautions have caused similar accidents in the past.

Authorities reported the brief spike in radiation within the close by city of Severodvinsk, which has a population of 185,000. One caught fire while being repaired there in 2015.

The Nyonoksa naval test range carries out tests for virtually every missile system used by the Russian navy, including sea-launched ICBMs, cruise missiles and anti-aircraft missiles.

The testing centre dates back to 1954 and was used by the Soviet Union to test its nuclear arsenal.

The explosion followed a massive fire that erupted Monday at a military ammunition depot near Achinsk in eastern Siberia's Krasnoyarsk region.

It said the run on iodine had occurred in the northern port cities of Arkhangelsk and Severodvinsk and that several pharmacies had run out.

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