Russian authorities say nothing to worry about after explosion at centre housing smallpox and other deadly diseases

Russian authorities say nothing to worry about after explosion at centre housing smallpox and other deadly diseases

An explosion and fire at a Russian facility that handles dangerous diseases like smallpox, anthrax and Ebola has raised safety concerns even as authorities deny any threat.
A gas cannister exploded and started the blaze during renovations on Monday in a decontamination room at the Vector virology and biotechnology state research centre near Novosibirsk, which formerly developed biological weapons.
The building was not damaged and “no work with biological material was being done in the corpus,” the facility said.
A worker was taken to the hospital with burns on 45 per cent of his body and remained there in critical condition, state media reported on Tuesday. Windows were reportedly broken in the blast.
“There can be no panic nor threat,” the mayor of Koltsovo, the research town where the centre is located, told state media, and the emergencies ministry said there was no danger to the population.
But not all local residents were convinced after seeing fire engines racing toward the centre.
“Welcome to the zombie apocalypse,” one posted on a town social media group.
“In 20 years we’ll find out what happened from an HBO series,” said another, referring to the popular show about the Chernobyl disaster.
The incident comes after a mysterious explosion at a missile testing site in the Arkhangelsk region killed at least five researchers and caused radiation levels to spike in August and a fire on a nuclear deep-diving submersible killed 14 sailors in July.

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