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Federal service stops testing Altai soil, water for Progress M12-M heptyl

September 09, 2011, 20:04 UTC+3
All the samples taken in the past two weeks around the village of Karakoksha and the local rivers proved negative, the department said
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GORNO-ALTAISK, September 9 (Itar-Tass) —— The Altai republican department of the Federal Consumer Rights and Human Well Being Service will stop taking soil and water samples for heptyl tests in the area of the supposed fall of fragments of the Progress M-12M freighter starting from September 10, the department told Itar-Tass on Friday.

All the samples taken in the past two weeks around the village of Karakoksha and the local rivers proved negative, the department said.

The sanitary and epidemiological monitoring started immediately after the accident and was extended twice, the last time until September 10. The freighter had over 2.6 tonnes of cargo onboard. Heptyl, a highly toxic rocket fuel, may present a potential danger. An aerospace industry source told Itar-Tass that the freighter was carrying about 800 kilograms of heptyl to the International Space Station (ISS).

The tests will continue but on a lesser scale, the department said, adding that it was also monitoring for possible patients with chemical intoxications. No such patients were admitted to local hospitals in the past two weeks.

Radiation measurements have been normal, too, the department said.

The aerial search for fragments of Progress M-12M, which fell over the Republic of Altai, started on August 31. Land teams questioned shepherds, foresters and other possible eyewitnesses. No fragments were found, which might prove the theory that the rocket fragments burned in the atmosphere.

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