Fire destroys Russian military research institute where Iskander and S-400 missile systems were designed, 5 killed

A fire at a Russian military research institute in the northwestern city of Tver killed five people on Thursday and injured dozens more, state news agencies reported.

Russian TV showed images of thick black smoke rising from inside the yellow four-story building of the Central Research Institute of the Russian Air and Space Forces.

Several of the institute’s employees had to jump out of windows on the upper floors to escape the flames, according to witnesses.

“Twenty six people were injured in the fire, five of them died,” RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Several of the injured were taken to hospital, three of them requiring intensive care, TASS state news agency quoted a spokesman for the Tver regional hospital.

Preliminary information suggests the fire was caused by faulty electric wiring.

The defense ministry said the institute focuses on research related to Russian air and space defense, as well as the development of new anti-aircraft systems including the Iskander and S-400 missile systems.

Accidental fires are common in Russia, where hundreds of blazes are recorded each year due to aging and dilapidated infrastructure and non-compliance with safety standards that are often lax.