Russian biological research facility caught in an explosion caused a fire at that’s one among only two centers in the world recognized for housing samples of the smallpox virus.
The blast occurred Monday throughout repair work of a sanitary inspection room at the Russian State Centre for Research on Virology and Biotechnology, referred to as Vector, close to the Russian city of Novosibirsk in Siberia, the center stated in a report.
One employee was injured within the incident and is being treated in intensive look after burns, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.
In its assertion, Vector stated that no biohazard material was being stored in the room where the explosion occurred. The city’s mayor also emphasized that the event doesn’t act any biological or another risk to the local population, based on TASS.
The fire spread out when a gas cylinder exploded on the fifth floor of the six-story laboratory building in the city of Koltsovo. The blast caused windows to smash; however, there was no structural damage to the building, TASS reported.
In the year 1974, the Center for Virology and Biotechnology was once recognized for developing biological weapons research during the Cold War Soviet period. It’s now one of the world’s largest research centers developing vaccines and tools for diagnosing and treating infectious diseases.
The head of the Koltsovo science city, where Vector is located, advised Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti that there was no biological risk.
Scientists on the center are developing vaccines for swine flu, HIV, and Ebola. In February, scientists there wrapped up clinical trials of an Ebola vaccine, according to TASS.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the one other center in the world approved and recognized to have live samples of the lethal smallpox virus.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration published its approval of the first drug to treat smallpox in Last year. The contagious disease was eradicated in 1980 because of vaccination efforts; however, some issues might be used in a bioterror attack.