"Five people died during tests of a liquid-propellant engine system as a result of the accident at a military range in the Arkhangelsk Region".
Soon after Thursday's explosion, the Defence Ministry said two people died and four were injured, including servicemen and civilian engineers.
The Russian state media had initially reported that a fire occurred onboard a vessel at the facility in the port of Severodvinsk in the Arkhangelsk region.
The news of the accident prompted residents of Severodvinsk to rush to pharmacies on Thursday to stock up on iodine, which can be taken to stop the thyroid gland absorbing radiation.
Those reports say an area near Nyonoksa is used for tests on weapons, including ballistic and cruise missiles that are used by the Russian navy.
While ministry officials said the explosion didn't release radioactive or other harmful substances into the atmosphere, the local administration in Severodvinsk about 19 miles east from Nyonoksa reported a brief increase in radiation levels. It added that by 2 p.m. the radiation levels in Severodvinsk had returned to normal.
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Citing data from the Emergency Situations Ministry, Greenpeace said radiation levels had risen 20 times above the normal level in the city.
About the incident on the ground it became known earlier, on 8 August.
A video of hazmat-suited specialists taking measurements on the helicopter that airlifted the burn victims only added fuel to rumors, even though the medical personnel was clearly visible unloading the injured without any additional precautions.
According to Reuters, an authority of a port of Arkhangelsk said the explosion led to the closure of a portion of Dvina Bay in the White Sea, so it can no longer be used for shipping.
"Liquid fuel missile engines exploding do not give off radiation, and we know that the Russians are working on some kind of nuclear propulsion for a cruise missile", said Ankit Panda, an adjunct senior fellow with the Federation of American Scientists.
The blast was one of at least three explosions to rock Russian military sites in recent days.
Russia's Defense Ministry has given few details of the incident.