There are some conflicting accounts on the Nedelin catastrophe. "A significant number", "Hundreds", "Scores of engineers". The closest to a concrete number I found is 74 deaths on site, but the number of these, who died in hospitals due to injuries is not available, estimates of total death toll ranging from 101 to 180. Rockets and People: Creating a Rocket Industry vol 2, page 598.

Still, these sources are rather dated, and many secret documents of Soviet Union have been revealed since. Are there any more precise estimates on the number of victims of the disaster?

  • $\begingroup$ I am sure this can't be answered - see this discussion which gives wildly conflicting figures: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Nedelin_catastrophe#Discrepancy $\endgroup$ – Andy Apr 27 '16 at 7:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Andy: I'm pretty sure a detailed, conclusive and precise report stating these figures exists. I'm also pretty sure it will be declassified eventually. Now... will StackExchange still exist when the time comes? Oh well, not all questions can be readily answered, and we learn of that only after asking. $\endgroup$ – SF. Jun 20 '16 at 1:52

The State Comission report was declassified in 1994. The results were published in Voenno-istorichesky zhurnal (Military history journal) 1995/5. As well as in some other sources.

The official lists of military personnel lost (57), industry specialists lost (17) and the list of injured personnel (49) given in the report matches the ones published on this site .

So the immediate death toll is 57+17 = 74.

Some 4 of the 49 injured are marked as deceased in 1960-1961.

  • $\begingroup$ Wow, that site has everything in detail - and Google Translate does a pretty good job converting it to English. $\endgroup$ – kim holder May 15 '17 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ There are 74 entries in the list of the monument. And the list does include Nedelin's name in the first entry. $\endgroup$ – horsh May 15 '17 at 17:41
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    $\begingroup$ Is the anniversary marked, or are those flowers for some other reason? Btw, nice to see you horsh. $\endgroup$ – kim holder May 15 '17 at 17:43
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    $\begingroup$ At the same date (October 24) in 1963 there was another accident. So they commemorate and don't schedule launches on that day anymore. $\endgroup$ – horsh May 15 '17 at 18:05

The death toll was about a hundred people, most websites suggest it was around 90 or 100.

See e.g. James Oberg's account Disaster at the Cosmodrome:

But every answer raises another question I might have taken the 54 names listed there as the total death toll had I not noticed that Nedelin's name was not among them. When I asked my guide why, he replied that the commander's body had been sent home for burial. How many others had been sent home? I asked. The guide thought for a moment "About 40,"he suggested tentatively. The death toll, then, was nearly 100 men

or the two articles in Space Safety Magazine:

Despite at least 150 people killed (the real number remains unknown, as the official death toll was either never counted or revealed), the catastrophe was completely covered up.

Sadly, this is only a estimate, and the death toll may be much higher. The number of people killed is something lost in the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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    $\begingroup$ The question already states that estimate; it's looking for a more precise figure, which this answer doesn't provide. $\endgroup$ – DylanSp May 19 '16 at 14:14

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