Two dead in explosion at military testing site in northern Russia: defence ministry

Two people died in an explosion at a military testing site in northern Russia on Thursday, according to RIA news agency, citing the ministry of defence.

Six people were injured in the incident near Severodvinsk in the Arkhangelsk region in the Russian Arctic, it added.

Local authorities reported that a short-term increase in radiation was recorded in Severodvinsk.

RIA cited the defence ministry as saying radiation levels were normal after the explosion, which involved a liquid-propellant rocket engine.

No dangerous substances were released into the atmosphere, the government organisation said.

“There is no radioactive contamination,” a spokesman for the governor of the Arkhangelsk region, where the military base is located, told AFP.

It was the second accident involving the Russian military this week.

Massive explosions at a Russian military ammunition depot in Siberia injured at least eight people and prompted the evacuation of thousands Monday.

Read more: Spectacular explosions after fire at Russian arms depot in Siberia

Russia’s Defence Ministry said a fire triggered the explosions at a storage facility for gunpowder charges near the city of Achinsk in eastern Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk region.

Authorities declared a state of emergency in the region and ordered the evacuation of residents of several districts in Achinsk, as well as towns and villages within 20 kilometres of the depot.

Regional Gov. Alexander Uss said 6,000 people were being evacuated under the order.

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