Russia medical workers fear ‘radioactive’ contamination

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Russian medics who treated radiation victims after a military explosion in the Arctic had no protection and now fear they were irradiated themselves as they were not informed that the patients put under their care were exposed to radioactive contamination

Two of the medics in Arkhangelsk spoke to BBC Russian about the victims’ evacuation, on condition of anonymity.

Five nuclear engineers died on 8 August when an “isotope-fuel” engine blew up at the Nyonoksa test range, officials said. Six other people were injured.

President Vladimir Putin said the test involved a new weapon system.

Five nuclear engineers died in explosion of suspected nuclear missile
 (FILE) – Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual address to the Federal Assembly while a screen shows a newly developed cruise missile with ‘no range limitation’ at the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall in Moscow, Russia, 01 March 2018 (reissued ). According to a statement by Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom, five Russian nuclear engineers have died in a suspected explosion of a nuclear-fueled missile on 08 August 2019. The specialists were allegedly testing the unnamed missile on an off-shore platform near Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk region, northern Russia. EPA-EFE/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

Officials gave few details about the accident. On 14 August Russia’s weather service Rosgidromet revealed that radiation levels had spiked 16 times above normal, in Severodvinsk, a city 47km (29 miles) east of Nyonoksa.

According to the official data, the radiation that reached Severodvinsk was not heavy enough to cause radiation sickness.


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