Share this article

print logo

CAUSE OF GAGARIN'S DEATH NOT CONCEALED, PROBE FINDS

Investigators insist the former Soviet government did not cover up the truth about the death of one of the Soviet Union's greatest heroes: Yuri A. Gagarin, the first man in space.

"There was nothing to hide," Ivan Rubtsov, former head of the air force's flight safety department, said Monday.

Friday marked the 30th anniversary of the day Gagarin crashed his fighter jet, nearly seven years after he became the first person to orbit the Earth.

Soon after the tragedy, rumors began to circulate: Some whispered that the KGB was responsible, while others suggested Gagarin, who was accompanied by flight instructor Vladimir Seryogin, had been flying drunk. Soviet-era secrecy only fueled the rumor mill.

Monday, a four-member government investigation commission reported it could not reach a conclusion about the cause of the accident, but it did exclude a number of possibilities, the members said. Those include engine failure and explosion and that Gagarin and Seryogin were drunk.

Gagarin, the committee said, most likely made a sharp turn to avoid a collision with a weather balloon. Fragments of such a balloon were found in the area, the report said.

There are no comments - be the first to comment