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Stray Missile Hit Town, Ukraine Admits

April 25, 2000|Reuters

KIEV, Ukraine — Defense Minister Oleksandr Kuzmuk admitted Monday that a missile fired during military training last week slammed into an apartment block 80 miles away, killing three residents.

It was the third accident involving missiles in the former Soviet Union in recent days. On Monday, a dummy weapon fired during a Russian training exercise in the Black Sea hit a Ukrainian passenger ship, injuring one person.

And Kazakhstan confirmed Monday that a Russian rocket exploded after its launch from a military site near the Caspian Sea on Friday. No casualties were reported.

The weapon that went astray Thursday was a Soviet-made surface-to-surface missile. Seven minutes after it was fired, the missile punched through the roof and seven floors of a nine-story apartment block in Brovary, a town 12 miles northeast of Kiev, the capital, killing three people and wounding five.

Kuzmuk said the incident could have been caused by a computer glitch or other technical problems.

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