Russia’s nuclear energy company, Rosatom, released a statement confirming that five employees had died and several others injured at a weapons testing range in Russia’s Arkhangelsk region. The nuclear blast has also caused major fears of radiation exposure.
According to the Independent, US-based nuclear experts believe Rosatom may have been testing an experimental nuclear-powered cruise missile, which Vladimir Putin last year claimed to be “invincible against all existing and prospective” defense systems.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense initially claimed that “no harmful chemicals were released into the atmosphere” and radiation levels remained low. However, authorities in the nearby city of Severodvinsk said that there was a spike in radiation levels and people scrambled for iodine.
This latest explosion comes two days after 16,500 people evacuated their homes because of an explosion in Siberia.