Footage of the dramatic crash:
- Russian Unmanned Rocket Explodes Moments After Launch (ZeroHedge, July 2, 2013):
If Russia was hoping to punctuate its foreign policy victory over the US in hosting Edward Snowden and being on the list of his asylum applicants with the overnight launch of a unmanned Proton-M rocket, carrying some $200 million worth of navigation satellites, those hopes literally went up in flames when 17 seconds into the take off, an emergency switch-off of the engines led to a spectacular explosion, and sent the rocket plummeting to earth. End result: a massive blow up caught on live TV, hundreds of millions in equipment lost and 172 metric tons of highly toxic heptyl propellant raining on the ground for miles around the crash.
A Russian rocket carrying three navigation satellites worth around $200 million crashed shortly after lift-off from the Russian-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan on Tuesday after its engines suddenly switched off. The accident led to a large spill of heptyl, a highly toxic rocket propellant, but there were no reports of casualties or of any immediate threat to nearby settlements.
State-run Rossiya-24 television showed footage of the Proton-M booster rocket veering off course seconds after lift-off. It fell apart in flames in the air and crashed in a ball of fire near the launch pad.