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Toxic leak alarm prompts evacuation of U.S. part of International Space Station

A toxic substance, orignally reported to be ammonia, has leaked into the U.S.-made section of the International Space Station, according to Russian media reports. The astronauts — three Russians, two Americans, and one Italian — are safe and have taken refuge in the Russian section of the space station. "The safety of the crew has been secured by prompt joint action by the U.S. and Russian crewmembers, as well as by mission control staff in Moscow and Houston," Maksim Matyushin, the head of the Russian Mission Control Center, said in a statement to RT. Russian and U.S. space officials are working on a plan to decontaminate the isolated section of the ISS.

UPDATE: On Twitter, NASA says that the crew evacuated due to "safety procedures," and suggested that a "either a faulty sensor or computer relay" may have been behind the coolant leak alarm. --Peter Weber