Russia evacuates village near site of military blast as experts reveal radiation levels spiked by 16 times after rocket engine accident

  • Evacuation of village of Nyonoksa was ordered today after last Thursday's blast
  • Five employees of Kremlin's nuclear agency died in the missile engine explosion
  • Officials had previously claimed that no dangerous substances were released
  • This despite the nearby city of Severodvinsk seeing a 16-fold spike in radiation

Russia will evacuate a village tomorrow near the site of a military missile blast after experts revealed radiation levels had spiked 16-fold after the rocket accident.

Five employees of the Kremlin's nuclear agency died when a rocket engine exploded at the far northern military base last Thursday outside the village of Nyonoksa.

Today's Russia's state weather service said radiation levels had spiked in the nearby city of Severodvinsk up to 16 times last week, despite officials previously claiming no dangerous substances had been released. 

A pre-dawn train will evacuate all 500 villagers of Nyonksa on Wednesday, ahead of what the authorities claim were pre-planned activities by the military.

Norway's nuclear safety authority said it is studying radioactive iodine particles detected near the Russian border in the days after a suspected nuclear-powered missile exploded at the Nyonoksa military base (pictured)

A view shows an entrance checkpoint of a military garrison located near the village of Nyonoksa in the far north Arkhangelsk Region of Russia

A mysterious Russian military explosion that left five Russian scientists dead last week happened during tests on a new nuclear-powered rocket. Officials were seen wearing protective clothing as they transported casualties last week (pictured)

A mysterious Russian military explosion that left five Russian scientists dead last week happened during tests on a new nuclear-powered rocket. Officials were seen wearing protective clothing as they transported casualties last week (pictured)

The five victims of the Russian military ‘radiation explosion’ were buried yesterday in a sombre mourning ceremony in ‘closed’ nuclear research town Sarov

The five victims of the Russian military 'radiation explosion' were buried yesterday in a sombre mourning ceremony in 'closed' nuclear research town Sarov 

The “national heroes” were given a military salute of gunfire over their heavy coffins at a local cemetery

The 'national heroes' were given a military salute of gunfire over their heavy coffins at a local cemetery

A cortège of black vehicles brought the five coffins to the mourning ceremony which was held at the institute and later the cemetery

A cortège of black vehicles brought the five coffins to the mourning ceremony which was held at the institute and later the cemetery

Today it was revealed, ten medics who provided treatment to the wounded last week had been dispatched to Moscow for urgent medical checks.

The front-line doctors were reported to be 'depressed as to why they were not told what they were dealing with' in the aftermath of the weapons test.

The medics were not informed that they needed special anti-radiation suits.

One surgeon's clothing was checked after an operation using a radiation measuring device - and found to be seriously contaminated.

They have been sent to Burnazyan Federal Medical and Biophysical Centre which specialises in conditions caused by radiation, and where wounded scientists from the incident are also being treated. 

US nuclear experts this weekend blamed the testing of a nuclear-powered cruise missile for the mysterious explosion. 

The Russian Ministry of Defence, quoted by state-run news outlets, had reported the blast was from liquid propellant for a rocket engine.

Thousands of people attended the burials of the five nuclear engineers killed in the accident yesterday in the city of Sarov.  

In February the Russian state news agency released a video claiming to show a test of the Burevetnik missile which the Kremlin says is designed to strike over 'unlimited' range and with with unprecedented ability to manoeuvre

In February the Russian state news agency released a video claiming to show a test of the Burevetnik missile which the Kremlin says is designed to strike over 'unlimited' range and with with unprecedented ability to manoeuvre

A pre-dawn train will evacuate all 500 villagers of Nyonksa on Wednesday, ahead of what the authorities claim were pre-planned activities by the military

A pre-dawn train will evacuate all 500 villagers of Nyonksa on Wednesday, ahead of what the authorities claim were pre-planned activities by the military

Experts said they suspected the explosion and the radiation release resulted from a mishap during the testing of a nuclear-powered cruise missile at a facility outside the village of Nyonoksa

Experts said they suspected the explosion and the radiation release resulted from a mishap during the testing of a nuclear-powered cruise missile at a facility outside the village of Nyonoksa

Two of the men were blown into the sea at the top secret naval weapons testing zone in the White Sea.

Their bodies were initially lost but later found and funerals for all those killed were to be held in a secret closed nuclear research town in Sarov from where foreigners are banned.

According to one version, the troubling missile accident came as the scientists were working on the nuclear engine of deadly Burevestnik cruise missile with 'unlimited range' - nicknamed the 'Flying Chernobyl' - when it exploded.

One of the dead was Evgeny Korotaev, 50, a leading electronics engineer and also a popular DJ, whose second wife had given birth to twin girls just seven months ago.

Like the other dead, he worked for the classified Institute of Experimental Physics based in Sarov, 235 miles east of Moscow, known as Arzamas-16 in Soviet times.

Vyacheslav Lipshev, 40, was one of the experts killed in the blast. His widow Natalia Alexeeva, 40, posted a tribute: 'I love you my dear, how will I live without you? You are my everything.'

Vyacheslav Lipshev, 40, was one of the experts killed in the blast. His widow Natalia Alexeeva, 40, posted a tribute: 'I love you my dear, how will I live without you? You are my everything.'

Software and hardware specialist Alexey Vyushin, 43, who had developed a high-energy photon spectrometer was also killed
Another killed was Vyasheslav Yanovsky, 71, one of Russia's most senior nuclear scientists, deputy head of research and testing at the institute

Software and hardware specialist Alexey Vyushin (left), 43, and Vyasheslav Yanovsky (right), 71, were both killed

His daughter from the first marriage, Oksana, 26, posted a childhood picture of her with her father and the caption: 'Daddy, I love you so much.'

She only recently gave birth to his grandchild.

Another killed was Vyasheslav Yanovsky, 71, one of Russia's most senior nuclear scientists, deputy head of research and testing at the institute.

He was an 'honoured worker' of Moscow's nuclear industry, and died alongside Vyacheslav Lipshev, 40, head of the institute's research and development team.

Lipishev's widow Natalia Alexeeva, 40, posted a tribute: 'I love you my dear, how will I live without you? You are my everything.'

Software and hardware specialist Alexey Vyushin, 43, who had developed a high-energy photon spectrometer, and Sergey Pichugin, 45, a testing engineer, were also killed.

One of the dead was Evgeny Korotaev, 50, a leading electronics engineer and also a popular DJ, whose second wife had given birth to twin girls just seven months ago.

One of the dead was Evgeny Korotaev, 50, a leading electronics engineer and also a popular DJ, whose second wife had given birth to twin girls just seven months ago.

Oksana Korataeva (pictured) is the eldest daughter of Evgney Korataev, who died in the blast

Oksana Korataeva (pictured) is the eldest daughter of Evgney Korataev, who died in the blast

Korotaev's daughter from the first marriage, Oksana, 26, posted a childhood picture of her with her father and the caption: 'Daddy, I love you so much.'

Korotaev's daughter from the first marriage, Oksana, 26, posted a childhood picture of her with her father and the caption: 'Daddy, I love you so much.'

All are expected to be honoured posthumously by Vladimir Putin. 

President Donald Trump weighed in on the catastrophe yesterday, tweeting, 'The United States is learning much from the failed missile explosion in Russia.

'We have similar, though more advanced, technology. The Russian 'Skyfall' explosion has people worried about the air around the facility, and far beyond. Not good!'

The U.S. and the Soviet Union pondered nuclear-powered missiles in the 1960s, but they abandoned those projects as too unstable and dangerous.

While presenting the new missile, Putin claimed it will have an unlimited range, allowing it to circle the globe unnoticed, bypassing the enemy's missile defense assets to strike undetected.

Nuclear centre deputy head Vyacheslav Solovyev admitted the scientists were killed by an explosion in a small nuclear reactor, part of the engine of the missile

Nuclear centre deputy head Vyacheslav Solovyev admitted the scientists were killed by an explosion in a small nuclear reactor, part of the engine of the missile

The president claimed the missile had successfully undergone the first tests, but observers were sceptical, arguing that such a weapon could be very difficult to handle and harmful to the environment.

Some reports suggested previous tests of the Burevestnik missile had been conducted on the barren Arctic archipelago of Novaya Zemlya and the Kapustin Yar testing range in southern Russia before they were moved to Nyonoksa.

Moving the tests from sparsely populated areas to a range close to a big city may reflect the military's increased confidence in the new weapon.

Advertisement

Russia evacuates village near site of military blast as experts reveal radiation levels spiked

The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.