Russian Missile Accidentally Explodes at Military Base : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Nando Times

MOSCOW (June 8, 2001 12:39 p.m. EDT) - A Russian air defense missile exploded at a military base near Moscow on Friday, spilling burning fuel and destroying a dozen of rockets, military officials said. No one was hurt in the explosion and fire.

Col. Vyacheslav Sedov said the trouble began with a short circuit that set the engine of an S-300 surface-to-air missile ablaze. The ensuing blast spread burning missile fuel and it took firefighters several hours to put out the fire, he said by telephone. The missile's conventional warhead did not go off, he said.

"The incident hurt no one," Sedov said.

RTR government television quoted witnesses who heard an explosion and saw a column of black smoke rising over the base near the village of Zakharovo, 19 miles southeast of Moscow.

The press service of the Russian air force said the explosion took place during inspections of the missile launching system, the Interfax news agency reported. It said 12 missiles were destroyed in the fire.

The S-300 missile is one of Russia's most modern weapons, capable of shooting down aircraft and incoming missiles at ranges of up to 120 miles. Russian officials have claimed it is superior to the U.S. Patriot system used during the Gulf War.

Russia has aggressively marketed the S-300 and has sold it to several nations.

-- Rachel Gibson (, June 08, 2001

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