MOSCOW, August 11. Five specialists from the Russian federal nuclear center in Sarov (Nizhny Novgorod region) killed following a rocket explosion at a naval test range outside the city of Severodvinsk, will be recommended for state awards, center’s Director Valentin Kostyukov said in a speech on local television.
"The death of our staff members is a bitter loss for the nuclear center and the Rosatom state corporation. The researchers are national heroes. They were the elite of the Russian federal nuclear center and sometimes they were carrying out tests in extremely difficult conditions," the director said. The five specialists have been recommended for state awards, he said.
Kostyukov named the specialists killed in the accident - Alexey Vyushin, Yevgeny Koratayev, Vyacheslave Lipshev, Sergey Pichugin and Vladislav Yanovsky.
Mourning has been declared in the city, home to the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics, from 13:00 Moscow time on Sunday until the end of Monday.
The accident occurred at a military testing range near Severodvinsk in the Arkhangelsk region on August 8. The Russian Defense Ministry initially said that two people died in the accident involving a liquid-fuel jet engine. Later regional authorities said that six more people had been hospitalized. On August 10, the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation said that five employees had been killed in the accident and three more had been hospitalized.