The blast occurred on Monday after a gas cylinder exploded during scheduled repair work on the fifth floor of the six-story Russian State Centre for Research on Virology and Biotechnology, commonly known as Vector, the facility said in a statement.
No biological material was held in the sanitary inspection room where the explosion occurred, and no structural damage was caused to the concrete laboratory building, the center added.
One worker was taken to hospital and is being treated in intensive care for burns, Russia’s TASS news agency reported. A fire, covering 30 square meters was later extinguished by fire fighters.
The bioweapons facility, located in Koltosvo, in the Novosibirsk region of Siberia, is known for being one of two centers in the world housing samples of smallpox. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the only other center in the world known to hold live samples of the disease.
Originally, the center was used to develop biological weapons research during the Cold War Soviet era. Now it is one of the largest scientific virological and biotechnological centers in Russia.
- The Man Who Thinks He Can Live Forever
- Why We Can't Get Over the Roman Empire
- The Final Season of Netflix’s Sex Education Sends Off a Beloved Cast in Style
- How Russia Is Recruiting Cubans to Fight in Ukraine
- The Case for Mediocrity
- Paul Hollywood Answers All of Your Questions About The Great British Baking Show
- How Canada and India's Relationship Crumbled
- Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time