Russia: Evacuation advised for village near rocket explosion

In this grab taken from a footage provided by the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM press service, a Russian military band prepare to attend the funerals of five Russian nuclear engineers killed by a rocket explosion in Sarov, the closed city, located 370 kilometers (230 miles) east of Moscow, which has served as a base for Russia's nuclear weapons program since the late 1940s, Russia, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. Russia's Rosatom state nuclear concern said Thursday's explosion at a military testing range in northwestern Russia occurred while the engineers were testing a "nuclear isotope power source" for a rocket engine, a tragedy that fueled radiation fears and raised new questions about a secretive weapons program. (Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Regional authorities in northwestern Russia say the Russian military has advised residents of a village near a navy testing range to move out following a rocket explosion that killed five nuclear engineers.

The Interfax news agency reported Tuesday that the regional administration based in Severodvinsk said a notice from the military recommended the evacuation due to unspecified activities at the test range.

Officials offered no further details about the advisory for the village of Nyonoksa.

Russia’s state nuclear corporation, Rosatom, has said the engineers were killed Thursday while they were testing a “nuclear isotope power source” for a rocket engine.

Local authorities in Severodvinsk, a city of 183,000, reported a brief spike in radiation levels after the explosion, spooking residents. Officials insist it didn’t pose any health hazards.