Operations To Clear Obstructions On Board Kursk Nuclear Submarine Will Be Interrupted For New Year Holidays

Vladimir Mulov, the Northern Fleet Prosecutor, informed RIA Novosti on Friday that operations to clear obstructions in the third compartment of the Kursk nuclear submarine would be interrupted for the duration of the New Year holidays. According to him, work of investigation groups would be suspended on 31 December and resumed, supposedly, on 3 January 2002. The Prosecutor stressed that "the specialists working on board the Kursk were tired morally and physically". They had to work in the most difficult conditions with temperatures below 20 degrees Celsius. Several members of investigation groups got their arms and ears frost-bitten. Nevertheless having received medical treatment specialists returned on board the Kursk. According to weather forecasts, at the end of December- beginning of January temperature will go further down. Nevertheless, according to Mulov, works on board the Kursk will be continued. The Northern Fleet prosecutor reported that presently 79 dead bodies of submariners were retrieved from compartments of the submarine. 73 of them were identified and sent to burial locations. Totally 91 bodies of crew members were retrieved from compartments of the Kursk nuclear submarine in 2002 and 2002. At the moment of the tragedy which occurred on 12 August 2000 in the Barents sea 118 people were staying on board the submarine.