Languages
Page last updated at 20:28 GMT, Saturday, 24 May 2008 21:28 UK

Blaze 'sets off Russian rockets'

Advertisement

Amateur video of what appear to be missiles out of control

A fire at an air base arms depot in north-western Russia has reportedly set off several missiles, but caused no deaths or injuries.

Amateur video shows what appear to be at least two rockets zigzagging through a clear afternoon sky around the Lodeynoe Pole base near St Petersburg.

Unofficial sources say that at least 400 air-to-air rockets were damaged at a cost of about $82m (41m).

Friday's fire apparently began during repairs when workers were on a break.

Col-Gen Aleksandr Zelin, commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force, confirmed a number of air-to-air-missiles had exploded in the fire.

Earlier, an air force spokesman, Col Alexander Drobyshevsky, denied that any rockets had taken to the air as a result of the incident.

'Like fireworks but worse'

An unnamed police source told Russia's Ria Novosti news agency that more than 400 of the missiles had been destroyed, at a total cost of at least $82m.

For its part, the Interfax news agency quoted an anonymous Russian security source as saying 450 missiles were destroyed at a cost of $100m.

Local resident Sergei Donko told Russian television he had seen three missiles come down.

One exploded "like fireworks on 9 May [Victory Day in Russia] but... even worse", he added.

Another local man, Igor Kovalyov, said:

"They were really passing over our heads and we were guessing whether it would come to our house or not. Finally it landed here, causing a fire as a result."


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific