Jay Barrett/KMXT – AP
A military safety team is cleaning up any unexploded rocket fuel and other potentially dangerous debris at the Kodiak Launch Complex following the explosion Monday of a rocket carrying an experimental Army hypersonic glider.
Officials are waiting for the military team from Anchorage to do the cleanup before damage to the launch complex is fully assessed. The air space above the Kodiak Launch Complex has been closed below 2,000 feet.
The rocket carrying the Army’s Advanced Hypersonic Weapon blew up four seconds after it lifted off, according to Department of Defense spokeswoman Maureen Schumann. She says a so-far unidentified anomaly was detected and the rocket self-destructed for safety reasons. Eyewitnesses told KMXT that almost immediately after lift-off the rocket tipped over and started to loop before it blew up. The flash from the explosion and ensuing fire could be seen from 25 miles away.
Debris and the shockwave from the massive explosion damaged several buildings on the rocket range. Alaska Aerospace Corp. President Craig Campbell says sheet metal siding, roofs and doors were bent and broken. Windows were reportedly blown out miles away. No injuries were reported.
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