Russia covering up true death toll of fire that destroyed secret missile base

Russia is reportedly hiding the true number of people who have died in a blazing inferno that has destroyed one of their missile designing defence plants.

It had been claimed that the blaze had only taken seven lives but reports now suggest that at least 25 have died, including several of Russia's top missile scientists.

Two days after the fire broke out, a search is still underway to discover whether there are any other casualties amongst the debris.

It's believed that at least five people are currently being treated in intensive care units after being caught up in the blaze at the secret Second Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation in Tver.

Military scientists are believed to have jumped from higher floors in order to escape the heat and "poisonous bluish-black smoke".

The facility plays a key role in the design of Iskander missiles, which have been unleashed in the war in Ukraine, as well as Russia ’s S-400 missile defence system, while also involving "secret projects".

Local reporter Alexander Gamburg claims to have seen the list of those who "perished" in the fire.

He said: "As of 10pm on April 22 there were 25 people, the youngest one is a major, a man born in 1983, the oldest is 90 or 91, born in 1931.

"I don't know what he was doing at his workplace at the research institute at this age, most of them perished are men.

"The numbers are not final, this is a big tragedy."

Official state media in Russia is continuing to report that the death toll is between five and seven.

While Gamburg claims he is not able to add further detail due to Russian censorship and "not to compromise people important and dear to me."

He added: "Criminal investigators are working at the scene until Sunday, after which they are due to announce the losses."

A case has now been opened to discover how a fire was allowed to happen at the defence facility which has now been seen as a blow to Vladimir Putin's modernisation programme.

Shortly after the blaze broke out, an emergency helicopter was deployed to drop water on the burning building.

Initial reports suggested that the fire started on the second floor of the facility before the blaze suddenly ripped through the building due to its wood flooring.

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