Two killed in Russian space centre accident

Two officers were killed Tuesday and three hospitalised with toxic burns suffered during a chemical spill at Russia's Plesetsk military launch pad, the defence ministry said.

The accident happened while the soldiers were cleaning a nitrogen gas tank during routine maintenance, Russian news agencies quoted a defence ministry official as saying.

The ministry did not disclose details of the accident, saying only that it was caused "by the officers' failure to follow safety procedures."

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The Plesetsk Cosmodrome, located about 800 kilometres (500 miles) north of Moscow, was developed by the Soviet Union as a launch pad for its intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The heavily guarded military installation now serves as Russia's only alternative to the Baikonur space centre Moscow leases from Kazakhstan.

© 2013 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Nov 12, 2013