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Russian test accident kills five nuclear staff

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 10, 2019 - Duration: 01:13s

Russian test accident kills five nuclear staff

Russia's nuclear agency says five of its staff were killed in a blast on a military facility.

U.S. experts suspect it was during testing of a cruise missile.

Lucy Fielder reports.

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Russian test accident kills five nuclear staff

U.S.-based experts suspect an accidental explosion this week happened during testing of a nuclear-powered cruise missile that President Vladimir Putin boasted was 'invincible'.

Radiation was also released, they said, in the blast here in northern Russia.

Russia's state nuclear agency said Saturday (August 10), five of its staff died.

The defence ministry put the explosion down to a liquid propellant rocket engine.

But the two U.S.-based experts, speaking to Reuters, said that wouldn't give off radiation.

And -- quote -- "we know the Russians are working on some kind of nuclear propulsion for a cruise missile." Putin boasted about the missile at this 2018 video presentation to the Russian parliament.

Hailing the development of fearsome new strategic weapons.

It had, he said, unlimited range and was invincible against current and prospective missile defense systems. A senior White House official said he couldn't confirm or deny the mishap.

But he expressed deep skepticism over Moscow's explanation.

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