Near the site of the explosion on the White Sea on Thursday, in a military range in the Archangel region, radiation levels between four and 16 times above the norm were recorded for about two hours. 

This was announced by the Russian weather service Rosgidromet, which measured radiation levels in the port city of Severodvinsk, about 47 km from the site of the accident. These are abnormal data but according to the authorities they are not alarming. The explosion, according to rumours, would have occurred during a nuclear missile test, so much so that the United States is also gathering information, as President Donald Trump has publicly announced .

The explosion – which occurred during a test on a liquid fuel missile – caused the death of five specialists from the atomic agency Rosatom and the Ministry of Defence. Although several days have passed since the accident, official information provided by Russia is still very scarce. A Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, did not want to give any details about what happened at the military base on the White Sea, limiting himself to saying that similar “tragedies can occur, unfortunately”. Peskov called the five men dead due to the explosion “heroes”.

Little is known about the measures taken to guarantee the safety of the inhabitants of the area. Much information disseminated by the local media was later denied or minimised by the authorities. The nearest town to the site of the accident is a village called Nyonoksa and, at first, it seemed as if the evacuation of its inhabitants had been arranged, which would later be cancelled. The BBC’s governor, Igor Orlov, has described the news of an evacuation of the inhabitants as “totally insane”. Despite the assurances of the authorities, the inhabitants of the area rushed to buy iodine in the city pharmacies. The media also receives further information: