Home / Health / Uhh, part of the plant where Russia stores copper and Ebola exploded

Uhh, part of the plant where Russia stores copper and Ebola exploded

A vial of smallpox vaccine superimposed on a photo of the virus's effects.
Graphics: AP

блядь! An explosion at Russia's state research center for virology and biotechnology (vector) resulted in a fire, a glass that blew out the entire building, and a worker affected by third-degree burns on Monday, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Vector is one of the only two places in the world where live smallpox virus samples are officially stored, as well as retaining layers of other deadly pathogens including the Ebola virus and anthrax spores.

According to the State TASS News Agency, Koltsovo City Manager Nikolai Krasnikov said the blast occurred during planned repair work, blew out glass in the building and started a 30-square-foot fire. Various reports have shown that the event started with a gas explosion. However, Krasnikov emphasized that no bio-hazardous materials were stored where the explosion and leaves occurred, and that there is no threat to the general population. The vector building in question was not affected by structural damage, Krasnikov added, while the worker is in "intense" condition.

RT, another state-run media outlet, reported that the fire was upgraded to a "major incident" and that the Ministry of Emergency issued 13 fire trucks and 38 firefighters.

The vector system is actually huge. After its founding in 1975, it expanded steadily, employing thousands of researchers and covering dozens of acres and in recent years has been upgraded with significant security measures, according to Slate. So while news pieces of the exploded are alarming, the odds seem pretty good, since the explosion wasn't directly on top of the copper room.

This might be beneficial called a bad time for a sensitive Russian government establishment to experience an explosion, as a mysterious explosive officer in the country first described it as an accident during a Ministry of Defense test of a rocket fluid propulsion system killed at least five people in August. Doctors who took care of the victims were reportedly not told that patients would be exposed to radioactive material (with one saying that he must have eaten "Fukushima crabs" in Thailand). Later reported, the US intelligence believe that the Russian military was trying to cover up a disaster during an attempt to recover a nuclear-powered missile.

As the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists noted, Vector is considered one of the world's leading epidemiological research centers (credited with developing an Ebola vaccine this year), but that and the US Centers for Disease Control where other copper samples are stored have both raised questions about "safety processes and infrastructure ”:

Despite this reputation, questions have been asked about the institute. A high-ranking Soviet bio-weapon official who abolished the United States in the 1990s claimed that copper had been moved to the Vector Institute to conduct bio-weapon research.

The world's second coupling repository, CDC, has also raised questions about its security processes and infrastructure. In 2016 USA Today published an investigation into the failures at the centers, including an incident in 2009 where researchers in biohazard suits could see light seeping into a decontamination chamber where workers who had just done deadly pathogens work would be hidden in a chemical shower.

2004 Ebola scientist Antonina Presnyakova died after sticking with a needle carrying the virus on Vector. According to the New York Times, the incident "raised concerns about security and confidentiality" after a week's delay in reporting the incident to the World Health Organization, saying that the agency's researchers "could not provide quick advice on treatment that may have saved her life."

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