Forty-five corpses of Kursk submarine’s sailors retrieved. For the first time, the character of destruction shown

Forty-five corpses of Kursk submarine’s sailors killed August 12, 2000, in the Barents Sea have been retrieved from the submarine at the floating dock of the Roslyakovo settlement, Murmansk region. This was reported on Monday by spokesman for the Northern Fleet of Russia, Vladimir Navrotski. According to him, 18 bodies were identified.

The Northern Fleet’s command called the identified sailors’ relatives. Navrotski reported that most of the relatives had preferred to bury the sailors in their native cities and settlements. At about 17.00 (Moscow Time), after funeral ceremonies, the bodies of ten of the sailors will be transported to relatives. On Monday, at the floating dock, according to the plan, cruise missiles will be drawn out from shafts situated on Kursk boards. Meanwhile, on Saturday, for the first time, in spite of protests of Northern Fleet’s officials, video-shots of the Kursk's prow were shown, in particular, of the second compartment and of what has remained from first compartment. The destruction inside the submarine was shown. Russian Public Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov commented on the footage. The destruction is really serious. It is complicated to imagine what has caused the catastrophe and such serious destruction. Not only the first compartment is lacking, but almost the whole second compartment as well, which is where most of the crew were at the moment of the explosion. PRAVDA.Ru quotes the shorthand report of Vladimir Ustinov’s comment: “…We are inspecting the Kursk nuclear submarine. Today, we will inspect the prow, which has been seriously wrecked as a result of the circumstances I told you about at the previous meeting, in particular, after the first and second explosions in the submarine. Today, we will together view the prow, so you will yourself visually make sure of how seriously the submarine has been wrecked. There is a bulkhead that separated the first compartment from second one, where there was leadership of the submarine. You can see how powerful the blow has been. Of course, in one and a half minutes, nothing was left in here. We are exactly in the part of the submarine, here is the bulkhead, you see, I show it, that separated the first compartment from the second one. The second compartment is where the command of the submarine had been, the main leadership of the submarine and most of the crew. You can see, it is cut off practically as if with a knife. Further, you can see the place where there were periscopes, everything completely cut off; two-thirds covered with elements of equipment annihilated in the explosion. I remind you that only 135 seconds had passed between the two explosions; therefore, nobody could put on protective outfits. You should understand that even if these outfits had been put on in this situation – there was everything: explosion and fire – nobody could have survived. The only thing, you will be able to see, is next compartment, which has remained more or less safe, that is sixth compartment, the reactor compartment, powerfully strengthened, what has protected it from impacting the reactors. Even this powerful explosion had not annihilated or damaged the missiles, so strong the metal working was of the metal-protected missiles and the nuclear reactor. Though, in spite of the strong metal that protected the sixth compartment from water and fire, water started to penetrate through other rooms. I mean that the ventilating and other holes aroused as a result of the explosion. This was why the submarine was sinking by degrees, but briskly. Our experts are inclined to think after 6-7 hours, the submarine had been completely filled with water, I mean, up to 9th compartment. This is also confirmed with the death letter an officer had written: at first, after the first explosion with a strong beautiful handwriting, and in one and a half hour, the handwriting was… it can be seen it was heavy for him to write, and it is evidence of big amount of water and carbon monoxide have been penetrated into the 9th compartment. I would like to say to people who think there has been a possibility to secure our sailors: I think there had not been this possibility. Today, while carrying out the rescue works we retrieve bodies of the killed ones, in general, death came (I mean, in the submarine’s end) as a result of asphyxia. The submarine was completely filled with water after 6-7 hours, at the most, the experts say, in 8 hours. Unfortunately, a rescue expedition, according to all norms, was unable anything to do. Of course, we will investigate all the parts we see today. Of course, we will make efforts to find any remains of our sailors, however you can well see it yourselves, it will be problematic. Though, the works will be carried out in spite of any difficulties. I would like to stress that what was happening here was a real hell a human being could only imagine. Because the alloys these firm compartments are created are really cut up without any autogens or something else. Now, a part of prow compartment is before us, which is cut off, though it was in the same condition after the explosion, so the whole room you can see was filled with outboard water. I also would like to stress how powerful protection of missiles and reactor compartment was in the submarine. In this hell that was here, it was complicated to practically count the power of the blow. Shielding zone of the reactor compartment and protection of cruise missile completely correspond with the safety, and we suppose they have stood a heavy test and have bar from destroying missiles and reactor compartment...”

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