A powerful explosion rocked the suburbs of the city of Izhevsk in central Russia on Wednesday night, with state-run media reporting that the blast occurred at a machine and missile production facility.
Videos shared on social media showed a large fireball lighting up the night sky over the testing grounds of the Votkinsk Machine Building Plant in the village of Yagul, located just outside the republic of Udmurtia’s capital city, some 1,000 kilometers east of Moscow.
The state-run TASS news agency, citing an anonymous emergency dispatcher, reported that the explosion was part of a “planned” rocket test.
“It was a rocket engine test. It wasn’t an emergency,” the source was quoted as saying.
Udmurtia’s local branch of Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry wrote on the Telegram messaging app that “No emergencies were reported, no socially significant incidents occurred.”
The Votkinsk Machine Building Plant is part of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos.
The plant produces goods for civilian use, but also for the Russian military, such as Iskander, Topol-M and Yars missiles.
It also decommissions missiles that are no longer intended for use.