Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Latest: Disaster in Russian submarine

According to Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the investigation commission, 14 civilians and 6 sailors were killed, while another 22 people received injuries of varying degrees of severity. At the time of the incident 208 people were on board. The wounded were transferred to the Admiral Tributs (anti-submarine ship) and taken to Vladivostok.

The incident happened at the front of the submarine (the nose), which arrived shortly after to a base in the region of Primore. The Nerpa submarine (Akule II code name of NATO) was launched on 27 October. Russian experts have said that the accident could have been caused because of Freon gas, an activation of the system for fire fighting at the bow of the submarine.

According to Igor Dygalo, commander, the levels of radioactivity are normal and the reactor was not affected.

President Dmitry Medevedev instructed the Minister of Defense, Anatoli Serdiukov, to conduct a thorough investigation to discover the cause of the incident. The Military Prosecutor's Pacific Fleet is to open the investigation, led by Sergei Fridinski.

Activation of the system to combat the fire could have been a result of a breach of the code of work by employees at the shipyard ship before the launch of the submarine, according to military sources quoted by ITAR-TASS.

Timofei BYELO


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