#mce_temp_url#Seventeen seconds after takeoff, the rocket swerved to one side, tried to correct itself, but instead veered in the opposite direction. It then flew horizontally and started to come apart with its engines in full thrust.
Making a huge arch in the air, “the rocket plummeted back to the territory of the cosmodrome "Boykonur", about 2.5 kilometers from the launch site,” said spokesperson of Roskosmos, Anna Vedishcheva. The rocket exploded on impact close to another launch pad used for Proton commercial launches
The crash was broadcast live across the country and fears of a possible toxic fuel leak immediately surfaced following the incident. While no such leak has been confirmed, the rocket was initially carrying over 600 tons of toxic propellants.
There have reportedly been no casualties to surroundings structures and the town of Baikonur was not affected.
Taking into account the Proton-M rocket and three GLONASS satellites, the failed launch has potentially cost the Russian space industry around $200 million, reported Rossiya24 TV channel.
An accident board headed by Aleksandr Lopatin, deputy head of Russia’s space agency Roskosmos, has been created to investigate the crash.
At first, the emergency ministry of Kazakhstan has warned that toxic fuel from the rocket could pose an ecological threat to the surrounding area. The Federal Medical-Biological Agency said the crash currently poses no threat to the population.
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