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NEW YORK, September 1 /TASS/. No one was injured in the explosion, which occurred at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida during the preparation for testing the Falcon 9 rocket, the Space X company said.
"SpaceX can confirm that in preparation for today’s standard pre-launch static fire test, there was an anomaly on the pad resulting in the loss of the vehicle and its payload. For standard procedure the pad was clear and there were no injuries," SpaceX said in its statement on Thursday’s anomaly.
The Falcon 9 rocket was to carry a communications satellite for Spacecom, an Israeli company, at 3 a.m. on Saturday.
Brevard County Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser told the Florida Today Internet resource that the incident posed "no hazards to the general public."
The Associated Press said the blast happened during a test firing of the rocket’s engines early on Thursday morning and that multiple explosions continued for several minutes. Eyewitnesses talked about a fiery plume of smoke rising into the air.