NASA says SpaceX was conducting a test-firing of its unmanned rocket when the blast occurred Thursday morning. The routine test was in advance of a planned Saturday launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, The Associated Press reported.
Buildings several miles away shook from the blast, and multiple explosions continued for several minutes. A cloud of dark smoke filled the overcast sky, according to locals.
On Twitter, users said they could feel the explosion for miles.
The rocket was supposed to hoist an Israeli satellite this weekend, AP reported.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) September 1, 2016
— Erin Head (@ErinHead_HIM) September 1, 2016
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“There are no known casualties. There’s no threat to public safety and our emergency management teams are on site responding,” Bryan Bryan Purtell, a representative for the 45th Space Wing, told The Verge website.
SpaceX also released a statement to Ars Technica about the incident.
“SpaceX can confirm that in preparation for today’s static fire, there was an anomaly on the pad resulting in the loss of the vehicle and its payload. Per standard procedure, the pad was clear and there were no injuries,” it read.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.