Published: Sat, July 06, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Russian submariners dead after fire on Navy research vessel, Russian media reports

Russian submariners dead after fire on Navy research vessel, Russian media reports

It said the fire "broke out during (the taking of) bathymetric measurements" before it was extinguished by the "self-sacrificing" actions of surviving crew.

Putin met on Thursday with Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu, who had returned from the Navy's Arctic base of Severomorsk, and asked him about the submersible's nuclear reactor.

But as the public eagerly awaited to hear more about what happened, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday not to expect much. "The investigation is conducted by the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy".

"Some information related to the category of state secret", he told reporters. The submarine was homeported in Severomork.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday that 14 submariners were killed by combustion gas in a fire on a deep-water research apparatus in Russian territorial waters.

A few images and details have emerged about the vessel.

Two days after a mysterious fire aboard a Russian submersible killed 14 people, little details have emerged as the Kremlin continued Wednesday to shroud the incident in secrecy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin cancelled a scheduled appearance and summoned his Defence Minister for a briefing on the situation.

The fire has since been put out, but the cause remains unclear.

There are no confirmed reports as of yet that of a link between the events.

Though the reasons for Pence's shift remain unexplained, it was not believed to have been related to the submersible fire, which has been the subject of major media scrutiny, even within Russian Federation itself.

The accident reportedly either occurred on board the nuclear-powered Project 10831 Losharik (AS-12), one of the Russian Navy's "special projects" spy subs, or inside the larger modified Project 667BDRM Delfin-class (Delta-IV) nuclear-powered submarine BS-64 Podmoskovye.

Experts such as Mr Polmar believe the submarine is of utmost strategic importance to Russia's military.

Putin described the stricken vessel as "an unusual submarine" and said seven of those killed were high-ranking naval officers.

"I would like to convey my most honest condolences to the families of the dead".

Paying tribute to his sailors, Putin said: "This is a big loss for the fleet, and in general for the army".

Shoigu said the crew had saved a civilian aboard and prevented the ship from being destroyed, saying they had acted "heroically".

Notwithstanding the Russian ministry explanation that the submarine was a "scientific experimental deep-water apparatus meant to study the natural environment and sea floor", the United States and its allies have believed for some time that the Kremlin has been using its vessels to recce undersea communication cables.

Few images and details have emerged about Losharik, which took part in research meant to prove Russia's claim on the Arctic seabed in 2012, when it collected samples from a depth of 2,500 meters, according to official statements.

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