Explosion rocks SpaceX launch site in Florida

The unmanned rocket was preparing to launch a communications satellite and was due to take off on Saturday

Explosion rocks SpaceX launch site in Florida

Smoke rises from a SpaceX launch site Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, at Cape Canaveral, Fla. Image: Marcia Dunn / AP/Press Association Images

There has been an explosion at the SpaceX launch site in Florida, shaking buildings and sending smoke billowing into the sky.

Elon Musk's firm was carrying out a routine test firing of its unmanned rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station when the explosion happened.

The Falcon 9 rocket and its $200m satellite payload were destroyed.

SpaceX said no-one was injured in the blast, and blamed an "anomaly" on the launch pad for the explosion.

The force of the explosion shook buildings several miles away, and a thick cloud of smoke was seen rising from the launch site.

The test was being carried out in advance of a planned Saturday launch from the site, which is next to NASA's Kennedy Space Centre.

Local officials have said there is no risk to the public:

SpaceX is one of two companies shipping supplies to the International Space Station for NASA.

The company successfully launched a Falcon 9 last month, sending a Japanese communications satellite into orbit and then landing the rocket on a floating drone ship.