11 Oct 2018 17:48

Investigative Committee opens criminal case over violation of safety rules in construction following Soyuz failure

MOSCOW. Oct 11 (Interfax) - The Investigative Committee has launched a criminal inquiry into the Soyuz MS-10 accident, a spokesperson for the agency told Interfax on Thursday.

"The Committee's Baikonur division has launched a criminal inquiry into the Soyuz MS-10 manned spacecraft accident under Article 216 of the Russian Criminal Code (violation of construction safety rules resulting in significant damage)," the spokesperson said.

"An investigative team has been set up and is now inspecting the launch pad and seizing documentation. Inquiries are underway to identify the causes of and people responsible for the accident," the agency said.

The Soyuz MS-10, which was launched from Baikonur at 2:40 p.m. on October 11, experienced a malfunction "for a yet unidentified reason at the initial stage, 122 seconds into the flight, when its second-stage engines were running, causing the manned spacecraft to lose control," the committee said.

"After the emergency system began working, a special rescue capsule containing the crew broke off the rocket, after which the flight was interrupted and the spacecraft fell," the committee said.