Russian rocket crashes in satellites launch

Updated: 2013-07-02 14:44


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MOSCOW - A Proton-M rocket crashed one minute after blasting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Russia's federal space agency Roscosmos said Tuesday.

Russian rocket crashes in satellites launch

Boris Zyryanov, chief of division of electric and radio tests of navigating satellites, supervises the electric testing of the GLONASS-M space navigation satellite of the Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems company in the Siberian town of Zheleznogorsk, 50 km (31 miles) northeast of Krasnoyarsk, in this April 8, 2013 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

Live TV broadcast showed that the rocket, carrying three Glonass-M satellites, changed its flight direction a few seconds after takeoff, falling and exploding over the space center.

Specialists were immediately evacuated from launch pads nearby, as a toxic cloud generated by the rocket fuel appeared over the site.

"There was an accident during the Proton-M launch. The rocket fell and exploded on the territory of the launch site," a Roscosmos spokesman said, adding an investigation commission has been set up.