Northwestern Russia’s rural Severodvinsk, a small town in Arkhangelsk Oblast, was home to the death of five employees of Russia’s Rosatom, the country’s state-operated atomic energy agency. According to official Rosatom reports that were published on the agency’s official website, which came out today, on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, the staff members were experimenting with a “liquid jet propulsion system.”
In addition to the five who passed away, three other Rosatom staff members suffered from injuries that came in the forms of “burns of varying severity,” official reports said.
Initial reports published Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, the date of the accident, claimed that just two people died. Revisions were not made until two days later, on Saturday, Aug. 10.
Further, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, no chemicals that are harmful to the environment or animals were pumped into the atmosphere. However, Severodvinsk’s local government agents released a statement of their own that claimed a noticeable increase in radiation near the blast site was detected.
Currently, this contradictory statement from local Severodvinsk authorities can’t be found anywhere online – only on archives of official Russian government websites.
Local authorities claimed that the radiation spike came at roughly 11:50 a.m. local time – which translates to 4:50 a.m. Eastern Standard Time – on Thursday, Aug. 8. They also reported that the local radiation level gradually declined from 11:50 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. local time. Radiation levels had returned to normal readings by 2:00 p.m. local time in Severodvinsk.
This incident is the most recent accident of a string of accidents that have taken place in the Russian Federation. The first two incidents involved explosions that resulted took place at a Russian military storage facility for ammunition in Krasnoyarsk, a relatively large region of the country that nearly perfectly bisects the country.
Reports from local news agencies and independent journalists, as well as laypeople, in the Severodvinsk area indicated that a rash of local residents had flocked to nearby pharmacies in an attempt to purchase iodine, which can be consumed to prevent the absorption of radioactive iodine, which was responsible for causing the aforementioned uptick in radiation in the area, by the human body’s thyroid gland.
In response to the missile-launch accident that claimed the lives of five, the Russian Defense Ministry has moved all incoming and outgoing vessels out of the Dvina Bay, located in the White Sea. This protocol will remain in place for the next month, officials said.