MOSCOW - Russian Missile Hits Ukrainian Passenger Ship, 5 Injured - 2nd Incident this Week : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Title: Russian Missile Hits Ukrainian Ship, Five Injured

Story Filed: Monday, April 24, 2000 3:09 PM EST

MOSCOW (April 24) XINHUA - A cruise missile launched from a Russian coastal missile complex from Cape Khersones in Sevastopol in the Black Sea accidentally struck a Ukrainian passenger ship Monday,injuring five people.

The accident happened during the Russian Black Sea Fleet exercises about 48 kilometers from Donuzlav in the Crimea, the Interfax news agency reported.

The Progress missile reportedly hit the "Vereshchagin" ship above the waterline, wounding five people. One of the victims, a crewmember, sustained serious injuries.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but preliminary reports said the Ukrainian vessel inadvertently entered the training area, which had been closed to navigation by the Black Sea Fleet.

Monday's incident was the second that involved a Russian missile within a week.

Last Friday, a Strizh-3 rocket launched from within Russia landed in Atyrau region, west Kazakhstan, creating a crater about five meters across and 2.5 meters deep. Rocket fragments were scattered over a distance of 50-60 meters around the crater, Interfax reported.

Nobody was hurt in the incident, but it prompted the Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov to consider demanding Moscow refrain from rocket launches from the Russian air defense test site in Ashuluk.

"This is an unpleasant case. The worst thing about it is that people could have been hurt," Idrisov said.

The two countries have set up a joint team to look into details of the incident, he added.



-- (, April 24, 2000

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