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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Telecoms Satellite Crashes in Tyumen Region

A Molnia-M rocket with a Russian telecommunications satellite on board crashed shortly after its launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia on Tuesday morning.

The three-stage rocket took off from Plesetsk at 4:49 a.m. and was to have placed the Molnia-3K satellite into a designated high-elliptic orbit at 5:43 a.m., Gazeta.ru reported.

One possible cause of the crash was a failure to separate the booster's third stage from the second, while another theory was that the third-stage engine failed, Anatoly Perminov, head of the Federal Space Agency, told reporters Tuesday.

The flight was aborted after six minutes and the rocket with the satellite crashed somewhere in the Tyumen region.

Search teams were still trying to locate the crash site as of Tuesday afternoon.

The Federal Space Forces, which run the launch pad, issued statements Tuesday that damages should be minimal as the rocket's fuel consisted of kerosene and liquid oxygen.

These fuel components are far less hazardous than heptil, a highly toxic rocket fuel, the statements said.

The Military Prosecutor's Office announced Tuesday afternoon that the crash was being investigated as a possible violation of regulations on preparing and launching space flights.