The powerful explosion of a secretive missile engine with an “isotope power source” blew the device into pieces and threw workers off a sea platform, Russian nuclear agency Rosatom said. Searches for the missing went on all day.

Dramatic details of the tragedy that rocked the Arkhangelsk region this week, and that fueled western tabloids with rumors of a new Chernobyl-like disaster, were shared by the state atomic energy corporation on Saturday.

The five who perished had been working on an “isotope power source” for the experimental “liquid-propellant engine.” An increase in background radiation was registered on the test site, but the measurements are said to have soon returned to normal.

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