Fourteen Russian sailors have died after a fire broke out on one of Russia’s deep-sea submersibles. The defence ministry said the fire was extinguished due to the “self-sacrifice” of the crew, but did not give any cause of the blaze – or reveal if there were any survivors.
The deep-sea research vessel was carrying out a survey in Russia’s territorial waters when the blaze erupted on Monday, the defence ministry said. It said the incident happened while the unnamed vessel – intended for studying the seabed – was performing tests. The underwater craft is now at the Arctic port of Severomorsk, the main base of Russia’s Northern Fleet.
President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called the loss of 14 navy officers in the fire a “big loss”, ordering a full investigation into what happened. “We express our deepest condolences to the families of those who died. We will do everything we can to support them,” said Putin, who cancelled a public engagement to deal with the incident.
President Vladimir Putin has ordered an inquiry into what happened after cancelling a scheduled event and summoning his defence minister to be briefed on the situation.
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