Criminal proceedings initiated over Proton-M rocket crash

Photo: Criminal proceedings initiated over Proton-M rocket crash / Kazakhstan

An investigation has been launched over the fact of the Proton-M rocket crash at Baikonur Cosmodrome, the Prosecutor's Office of the Baikonur Complex said on Wednesday, RIA Novosti reported.

On Tuesday the Proton-M carrier rocket with three Russian Glonass-M navigation satellites exploded in mid-air and fell on to the cosmodrome during the first minute of flight. A heptyl cloud with three tails formed at the site of the crash which according to experts should not have a major impact on the environment.

However, the Kazakh authorities have created a government commission headed by the Minister of Environment Protection, to study the effects of any emergency on the environment.

"The Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation has initiated criminal proceedings on the crash at the Baikonur complex, under the article 'Violation of safety regulations while conducting works'," the press release said.

Those responsible will face up to three years in prison, but there are not any suspects as yet.

After the accident the Prosecutor's Office also started inspections in order to determine how the laws are complied with during launches and the preparation period at Baikonur.

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