Gas Explosion Rips Through Russian Lab That Stores Ebola And Smallpox

Smallpox inoculation

Smallpox inoculation

A gas explosion at a Russian biological lab that houses smallpox, Ebola and HIV left one employee injured. Officials say a gas cylinder exploded on the fifth floor of the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology in Koltsovo. The explosion shattered the windows of the building and a fire spread through the ventilation system. The employee was taken to the hospital with second and third-degree burns.

Officials said the explosion did not release any hazardous materials and that none of the virus samples were being stored on the fifth floor, which was undergoing repair work at the time.

The lab, also known as Vector, is one of two places in the world were smallpox and other deadly virus strains are stored. The lab was used to develop biological weapons during the Soviet era but is now used to conduct medical research.

Photo: Getty Images

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