Emergency commission investigates crash of Soyuz-U booster

Colonel-General Anatoly Perminov, the commander of the Russian Space Troops, was appointed the head of an emergency commission investigating the crash of the Soyuz-U booster, a source in the Rosaviakosmos company disclosed on Wednesday.

The emergency commission is investigating the accident in parallel with a governmental commission led by Rosaviakosmos deputy head Georgy Polishchuk.

Both commissions are currently examining magnetic and telemetric records of the booster's first and second stages' performance in order to determine the cause of a malfunction in the second stage's engines and of their subsequent shutting down.

The Souyz-U booster with the Photon-M automatic scientific research station on-board crashed on Tuesday at 10.20 p.m., Moscow time, 20 seconds after the blast-off from the Plesetsk launch site (south of the Arkhangelsk region, Northern Russia).

According to the source, the accident claimed the life of servicemen Ivan Marchenko. According to the latest data, 8 people were rushed to hospital with various wounds.

"The booster fell one kilometre from the launch pad and the explosion inflicted damage to a number of the launch site's facilities," the source reported.

The Photon-M space vehicle equipped with scientific and research devices belonging to Rosaviakosmos, the European Space Agency and a number of other countries, was destroyed as a result of the crash.

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