Fire kills 14 Russian sailors aboard deep-sea submersible

The Defense Ministry didn’t say what number of sailors have been aboard the vessel throughout Monday’s fireplace, whether or not there have been any survivors or if it was submerged on the time. But Russian media reported it was the nation’s most secret submersible, a nuclear-powered vessel designed for delicate missions at nice depths.

President Vladimir Putin, who got here underneath criticism for his dealing with of the Kursk nuclear submarine catastrophe in 2000 that killed 118 sailors, canceled a scheduled look and instantly summoned Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu for a briefing on the blaze, which was underneath investigation.

“Fourteen submariners have died of poisoning by fumes from the hearth,” Shoigu told Putin during a televised meeting. “The fireplace was extinguished because of the crew’s resolute motion.” Putin ordered Shoigu to fly to the Arctic port of Severomorsk, the primary base for Russia’s Northern Fleet the place the vessel was introduced, to supervise the investigation and report again to him personally.

“It’s a huge loss for the navy,” Putin stated. “I offer my sincere condolences to the families of the victims.” He added that the vessel had a particular mission and an elite crew. “It’s isn’t a regular vessel. It’s a research vessel with a highly professional crew,” Putin stated, including that seven of the lifeless had the rank of captain and two have been awarded the nation’s highest medal, the Hero of Russia.

The fireplace occurred whereas the submersible was measuring sea depths in Russia’s territorial waters, the ministry stated, including that the vessel is also used for learning the seabed. Russia’s RBC on-line information outlet and the Novaya Gazeta newspaper recognized it because the nuclear-powered AS-12 Losharik.

The vessel is essentially the most superior Russian submersible, underneath a heavy veil of secrecy, and it’s believed to have entered service in 2010. It is called after a Soviet-era animated cartoon horse that’s made up of small spheres.

The identify is outwardly derives from the distinctive design of its inside hull, which is fabricated from titanium spheres succesful of withstanding excessive strain at nice depths. In 2012, the Losharik was concerned in analysis supposed to show Russia’s declare on the huge Arctic seabed. It collected samples from the depth of two,500 meters (8,202 toes), in keeping with official statements on the time. Regular submarines can sometimes dive to depths of as much as 600 meters (2,000 toes).

Some observers speculated the Losharik was even able to going as deep as 6,000 meters (19,685 toes), however the claims could not be independently confirmed. Analysts urged that one in all its potential missions might be disrupting communication cables on the seabed.

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