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Russia: Missile Explodes During Test Launch

Archangelsk, 20 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian news agencies quote Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev as saying today a new ballistic missile exploded during a launch test in northern Russia.

The missile was reported to have exploded late last night after being launched from a Russian Navy testing range near the city of Archangelsk. Sergeyev himself attended the test launch.

The type of missile was not identified but Interfax said the missile, which was apparently not armed, was intended for Russia's nuclear submarine fleet.

The reports did not say whether there were casualties. Itar-tass said the blast was so powerful that vehicles' alarm systems within a range of up to 40 kms were activated.