A cylinder explosion sparked a fire at a Russian research center which stores some the world’s largest and most dangerous strains of viruses including ebola, small pox and anthrax.
The fire occurred yesterday at the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology (Vector) near the Russian city of Novosibirsk. One worker was taken to the hospital for third-degree burns. Reports indicate that all the glass in the building broke during the blast but no biohazardous substances were released.
The research center is one of two institutions that houses the smallpox virus. The other is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. The center developed biological and bacteriological weapons during the 1970’s and 1980’s, as well as ways to protect against them.