Russia nuclear plant blast: 1 dead
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MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- One person is reported to have been killed and two others injured in what Russian government officials are calling an explosion at a smelter furnace on the site of the Leningrad nuclear power plant.
Russia's Interfax news agency reported Friday that one person, who suffered burns over 75 percent of his body, had died, citing local government sources in St. Petersburg, located about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the plant. The other two were in serious condition, Interfax said.
The explosion at the furnace of the Ecomet-S enterprise -- a sub-contractor of the nuclear plant -- took place about 3 a.m. on Thursday, according to a statement issued by the St. Petersburg government.
The enterprise, according to the statement, is located at the premises of the nuclear plant's second reactor, which was shut down for reconstruction in July.
According to Rosenergoatom, a Russian state body in charge of monitoring nuclear safety in Russia, Ecomet-S specializes in recycling of radioactive metal wastes. But the incident did not increase radiation levels in or around the plant, Rosenergoatom reported.
A statement from the nuclear power plant calls the accident a "splash of smelt" from the furnace, which it says was caused by the violation of safety rules. The incident at Ecomet-S did not affect operations at the plant, the statement said.
Also, International Atomic Energy Agency spokesman Marc Vidricaire said Russian authorities told the agency there was no release of radioactivity after an explosion that occurred near the Leningrad nuclear power plant.
"The Situation and Crisis Center of ROSATOM, Russian Federation, has told us that the explosion was at a smelter located in the industrial zone of the city of Sosnovy Bor, Russian Federation, about 1km from the power reactors which were not affected," Vidricaire said.
CNN's Maxim Tkachenko contributed to this report.
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