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CASC Clarify LM-3B Rumors
SOURCE: China Space News     UPDATED: 2016-02-24

BEIJING, Feb. 22 (China Space News) — Sina Weibo recently have seen rumours spread that as many as 500 people lost their lives in a satellite launch accident in 1996.

In response to the rumours, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the main contractor for the Chinese space program, issued a statement via WeChat in an attempt to dispel such rumours, with attached images from contemporary news reports.

At 3am local time on February 15, 1996, the Long March 3B rocket blasted off from Xichang launch center, but veered off of course. Suffering from an engineering defect, the wayward rocket exploded on impact with the ground 2 kilometres away in a residential area 22 seconds after launch. Six people were killed and 57 wounded in the accident.