New blasts broke out at ammunition dump in Russia's Krasnoyarsk district on Friday during a clean-up operation four days after the first explosions created a radiation spike and forced thousands of nearby residents to evacuate, according to The Moscow Times.
The initial incident killed at least one person and injured 13, while another nine people were injured during Friday's blast at the ammunition dump in the military base.
“A shell exploded, wounding five servicemen and damaging a vehicle during work on de-mining and eliminating the consequences of the emergency situation in Kamenka,” local authorities in Krasnoyarsk said in a statement.
Residents of nearby Russian cities have been stocking up on iodine, which is frequently used to reduce the effects of radiation exposure, according to regional media.
The Russian Defense Ministry has offered sparse details of the incident aside from the injury reports after the liquid-propelled rocket engine exploded at the test site in Siberia.
Russian authorities also shut down the Dvina Bay in the White Sea for a month near the accident site, but did not offer a specific reason why.
Authorities in Severodvinsk reported a brief spike in radiation earlier this week after the initial explosion, but no explanation has been provided by the Kremlin about why the accident would lead to a radiation spike.
"Everyone has been calling asking about iodine all day," one pharmacy was quoted as saying by 29.ru, a media outlet that covers the Arkhangelsk region.
The northern port cities of Arkhangelsk and Severodvinsk both had pharmacies running out of iodine.
"We still have iodine left ... but a really large number of people have come in for it today," another pharmacy was quoted as saying to local media, according to The Moscow Times.
Greenpeace said data from the Emergency Situation Ministry revealed radiation levels rose 20 times more than the normal levels in Severodvinsk.
“We need to understand the radiation jump in cities closer [to the site of the explosion] than Severodvinsk,” Rashid Alimov, the head of Greenpeace Russia’s energy program, told The Moscow Times.
“If a fairly large amount of radionuclides has been released, we can expect Norwegian services to record that. But we need to understand the radiation jump in cities closer [to the site of the explosion] than Severodvinsk,” Alimov said.
The Russian Defense Ministry said a fire was the cause of the explosions earlier this week at the facility for gunpowder charges.
Regional Gov. Alexander Uss said more than 6,000 people were evacuated after officials declared a state of emergency in the region.
Air traffic was also suspended within 30 kilometers of the munitions site.
Andrei Frolov, co-chair of Moscow’s Public Environmental Organizations Union, said the explosions could have come from “tests of torpedoes with nuclear warheads.”
“I think the radioactive contamination was fairly weak and the consequences will be [felt by] the people who were at the scene of the incident itself. I don’t think this will extend beyond the military range,” Frolov told The Moscow Times.