A GAS explosion and ensuing fire has ripped through a Russian laboratory where highly infectious viruses are stored.
The State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology has said a cylinder exploded in lab which is one of two places in the world that houses the smallpox disease which has been eradicated in the world.
Other highly lethal diseases that are stored there include Anthrax and Ebola.
Located in Koltsovo, in the Novosibirsk region of Siberia, the site is thought to be where biological weapons have been made.
Frefighter and rescue teams responded to the explosion before it was realised what the possible implications could be.
Russian media have reported that the “the situation was quickly upgraded from an ordinary emergency to a major incident”.
Following the blast, one worker was left with third degree burns.
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