Fire Hits Missile Base Near Moscow, Causes Damage To Three Missile : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Friday June 8 12:19 PM ET Fire Hits Missile Base Near Moscow, Causes Damage MOSCOW (Reuters) - A fire broke out on Friday in one of Russia's S-300 missile systems outside Moscow, causing damage but no injuries, Russian news reports quoted military officials as saying.

Interfax news agency, quoting the Russian Air Force, said the fire, which was later extinguished, occurred in the morning in the Zakharovo Yegorovsky district while the missiles were in a horizontal position and in a protective covering.

Interfax said three missile launchers were damaged.

``There was no accidental launch. There are no injuries... There was no damage in the village. Neither residents nor servicemen were evacuated,'' it said.

Gennady Vasilyev, Air Force and Air Defense commander in Moscow region, told NTV television: ``We had an abnormal situation with our equipment. There was a fire in one of the systems and as a result three launch systems were damaged.''

Two women residents of the village told NTV that they heard a series of explosions and saw a huge cloud rise over the area.

``There were two small explosions and then a big one which blew our windows out,'' one of the unidentified women said. ``My husband and son went out to see what was happening. Then there was panic and we ran off.''

The second woman said she saw a large, black cloud over the area. She described the incident as ``dreadful.''

Vasilyev told NTV he could draw no conclusions about the accounts pending an investigation.

The S-300 system is a key part of Russian air defenses and has been sold to a number of other countries. U.S. officials have suggested they might purchase the system as part of efforts to persuade Russia to join it in efforts to build an anti-missile defense system.

-- Carl Jenkins (, June 08, 2001

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