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One Man Dies Fighting Fire Caused By Russian Rocket Part In Kazakhstan


ASTANA -- One person has died and another was injured in a fire that officials say broke out when part of a Russian rocket fell to earth in central Kazakhstan.

A spokesman for Kazakhstan’s Committee for Emergencies, Ruslan Imankulov, told RFE/RL on June 15 that the fire was caused by part of a rocket that was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome the previous day, carrying a cargo ship bound for the International Space Station (ISS).

A piece of the booster rocket hit the ground some 20 kilometers from the village of Talap, sparking a fire that local residents began fighting to prevent it from spreading to the village, Imankulov said.

He said one person died while fighting the fire and another was hospitalized with burns.

Imankulov told reporters earlier in the day that the part of the rocket that fell to Earth did not contain toxic substances. He said the fire was extinguished early in the morning on June 15.

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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."

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