NYONOKSA, Russia - Russian authorities have called off the evacuation of a village in northern Russia near the site of a suspected failed missile test, Russian state news agency TASS reported on Tuesday. The incident last week killed at least five nuclear specialists and caused radiation levels to spike.
Valery Mashenkov, the head of the administrative department for the village of Nyonoksa, told TASS that the military had cancelled upcoming military drills, and that villagers would not be required to leave their homes on Wednesday.
Village residents had been previously advised to leave their homes for safety reasons because the military was planning exercises, said Ksenia Udina, the head of the communications department for Severodvinsk, a nearby port city, confirming the news to CNN.
Nyonoksa is a small settlement around 30 miles west of Severodvinsk on the White Sea. News of the planned evacuation there became public on Tuesday.
Last week's explosion caused widespread international speculation that the accident involved a nuclear-powered cruise missile known as the Burevestnik or Skyfall. Although Russia is developing such a missile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday declined say whether it was involved in the incident.
Rosgidromet, the Russian meteorological agency, reported that Severodvinsk recorded radiation levels four to 16 times higher than normal background levels on Thursday. The Russian military on Thursday told state news agencies that radiation levels in the vicinity were normal.
Irina Sakharova, the deputy head of Severodvinsk, told TASS the situation in Nyonoksa was normal.
"Everything is calm at Nyonoksa, life goes on," she said, according to TASS.
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