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  Saturday, October 19, 2019
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Another villager in southwest Siberia plans to sue the space agency
Another villager in southwest Siberia plans to sue the space agency Roscosmos for compensation after rocket fragments fell on his land, the local administration said on Wednesday.

A resident of the Ust-Kumir village in the Republic of Altai said he is determined to seek compensation of moral damage after a 0.6-kg (1.3 lbs) rocket fragment was found in his hayloft in March.

Experts say the fragment could belong to the Proton-M carrier rocket, launched from the Baikonur Space Center, leased from Kazakhstan, on March 11, but its origin has yet to be established.

On April 3 two villagers filed a compensation claim against Roscosmos after fragments from a rocket fell on their land, which is outside the designated area for rocket debris. The local administration has also sent a letter to the space agency requesting that it take measures to prevent rocket fragments falling in populated areas.

On February 5 a three-and-a-half-meter (11 foot) long fragment from a Proton-M carrier rocket launched from the Baikonur space center fell near the yard of an Altai shepherd.

The second incident occurred on March 11 when a small fragment from another Proton rocket landed in a village in the Altai Republic destroying a shed roof.

The shepherd is seeking damages of 1 million rubles ($42,000) from Roscosmos, saying that the rocket fragment seriously frightened his children. Earlier he sought 500,000 rubles ($21,000) but raised the claim.

The second villager has not specified the size of his claim, saying it should be established in compliance with the law.

The Altai Republic has been used as a "cemetery" for fallen fragments from rockets launched from the Baikonur space center for more than 40 years. Experts estimate that about 2.5 metric tons of "space waste" have fallen in unpopulated areas of the republic during this period.

Many local residents say they have experienced health problem as a result, although it has not been officially confirmed.


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