Last Thursday, a mysterious explosion occurred in the north of Russia, near the city of Severodvinsk - subsequently, radiation levels were measured at 16 times higher than normal in the area.
Details of the tests behind the explosion have not been fully disclosed, which has only fueled rumors and speculation. Now, baffling reports are coming from Russia citing confusion over an evacuation of villagers near the blast zone.
Conflicting reports have come out from Russia this week about whether residents from near the sight of the mysterious explosion have in fact been evacuated or not.
The explosion happened at a military facility at the White Sea on August 8. After it happened, Russia's state nuclear agency, Rosatom, claimed a nuclear-powered engine was being tested and accidentally exploded.
Five scientists were confirmed dead, and three injured, after the blast.
As Gizmodo reports, Rosatom finally admitted that the explosion caused a radiation leak - after the Russian Ministry of Defense initially stated a liquid-propellant rocket engine exploded releasing no harmful emissions.
Evacuation or no evacuation?
Following Rosatom's admission, Russian news outlet 29.ru reported that residents of the nearby village of Nynoksa said military officials instructed them to evacuate on Wednesday in the early hours. They were reportedly informed that trains would be available for the evacuation.
This story was also reported by Russia's Interfax - the media outlet cited a temporary evacuation "due to work at a range where the blast occurred." Reports also surfaced suggesting the evacuation had nothing to do with the nuclear explosion.
Then the real confusion set in.
CBS News reports that governor of the Arkhangelsk region, Igor Orlov, was quoted by Interfax as claiming the evacuation was “complete nonsense.”
As per Gizmodo, however, social media updated from residents of Nyonoksa and Severodvinsk nearby were giving conflicting reports about the evacuation.
A few hours after the first reports surfaced, 29.ru then reported that the military plans had been canceled and that no evacuation was required.
Conflicting reports have also come out about what really exploded in northern Russia, with The New York Times saying U.S. officials suspect a new Skyfall nuclear weapon was being tested.