MOSCOW, April 7. /TASS/. The operation to flood the dock at the Zvyozdochka shipyard in the city of Severodvinsk, northwest Russia's Arkhangelsk Region, where the Oryol (K-266) nuclear submarine (Project 949A Antey) is burning, has kicked off, a shipbuilding source told TASS.
"The gates of the dock are open, the operation to fill it with water has started," the source said.
"As a result, the Oryol submarine will be partially flooded, which will make it possible to first localize and then extinguish the fire," he said, adding that there are "no other ways to put out the fire at the sub."
The report of the fire at the Oryol was received Tuesday at about 15:00 Moscow Time (12:00 p.m. UTC). The sub has been undergoing a major overhaul at the shipyard. Rubber between the inner and external hulls of the Oryol is apparently on fire near the 9th turbine compartment.
"The nuclear sub lying up caught fire at about 14:00 Moscow Time during welding work," the Zvyozdochka shipyard’s 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.
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.
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.