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Entire dock with burning Russian nuclear sub could be flooded — source

April 07, 2015, 18:07 UTC+3

The current measures of fighting the fire are not helping

1 pages in this article
At the Zvyozdochka shipyard (archive)

At the Zvyozdochka shipyard (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Kovpak

MOSCOW, April 7. /TASS/. The issue of flooding the entire dock in the Zvyozdochka shipyard in the city of Severodvinsk, northwest Russia, where the Oryol nuclear submarine is burning, is being considered, a well-informed source told TASS.

"The foam attack being carried out to extinguish the fire is not bringing results," the source said. "In this connection, the issue of complete flooding of the dock with water is being considered."

He said the area of the fire has increased but it is hard to establish it due to strong smoke pollution.

The nuclear sub caught fire at about 14:00 Moscow Time during welding work.

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