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Fire at Russian nuclear submarine not put out or localized yet — shipyard's spokesman

April 07, 2015, 17:31 UTC+3
A spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said the submarine, which has been undergoing repairs since November 2013, had no nuclear fuel on board
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© ITAR-TASS/Marina Lystseva

ARKHANGELSK, April 7. /TASS/. The fire at the Oryol nuclear submarine (Project 949A) at the Zvyozdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk, northwest Russia’s Arkhangelsk Region, has not been localized despite reports to the contrary, the shipyard’s press service told TASS Tuesday.

The press service said "the black smoke from rubber burning at the submarine sometimes becomes thicker and sometimes nearly disappears."

"The nuclear sub lying up caught fire at about 14:00 Moscow Time during welding work," the press service said. "All people on board the sub - employees of the enterprise and submarine personnel - left the submarine quickly and in an organized way, no one was injured."

"It should be specially stressed that nuclear fuel from the atom-powered vessel has been unloaded, there are no armaments on board the vessel," it said.

Zvyozdochka spokesman Yevgeny Gladyshev said Tuesday: "The submarine’s interhull space caught fire near the 9th compartment. The submarine has been undergoing repairs since November 2013. Nuclear fuel from the sub’s reactor has been unloaded."

"There are no armaments or chemically active, dangerous substances, fissionable materials on it. The enterprise’s personnel left the premises when the submarine caught fire, no one has been injured. The fire presents no threat to people and the shipyard," Gladyshev said.

He said Russian Emergencies Ministry firefighting teams are working at the site.

Zvyozdochka did not specify possible reasons for the fire, but a defense industry sector source named violation of safety regulations as the preliminary cause of the fire.

Another source in the shipbuilding industry said earlier rubber vibration and sound insulation caught fire between the inner hull and the external hull of the Oryol nuclear sub.

Earlier it was reported that the submarine was undergoing a major overhaul as a result of which it was to receive new missile armaments.

A similar blaze occurred in the Murmansk Region in 2011 when the scaffolding of the K-84 Yekaterinburg submarine under repairs caught fire which spread to the vessel's hull. Eleven people were injured.

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