An explosion has ripped through the solid rocket booster plant at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)in Sriharikota, killing at least six people.

Three others escaped with burns and were admitted to a hospital in Chennai (formerly Madras).

The fire at the centre, on an island off Andhra Pradesh state, is believed to have been caused by an explosion at the solid propellant plant, where advanced rocket fuel is prepared.


Reports say the accident happened while a test propellant segment was being prepared for transportation after curing.

The Associated Press quotes Madhavan Nair, who leads India's space programme, as saying: "We are trying to assess the extent of damage. As of now, [the fire] will not affect any of our immediate projects."

The Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota is the main launch base of the ISRO.

Source: Flight Daily News