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Overhaul of Russian Oryol submarine to be over on time despite fire — shipyard

April 08, 2015, 14:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The fire occurred between the craft’s inner and outer hull where there is no expensive electronic equipment or any complex equipment except for a high pressure air tank
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© Vladimir Larionov/TASS

MOSCOW, April 8. /TASS/. The fire that affected a nuclear submarine being overhauled at a naval shipyard in Russia's northern Arkhangelsk region on Tuesday will not affect the date when vessel will re-enter active service, a shipyard spokesman said on Wednesday.

"According to preliminary estimates, we will stick to the conditions of the contract both in terms of price and deadlines," said Yevgeni Gladyshev, the spokesman for the Zvyozdochka shipyard, where the 949 Antey-class submarine was being repaired.

"The fire occurred between the craft’s inner and outer hull where there is no expensive electronic equipment or any complex equipment except for a high pressure air tank," Gladyshev said, adding that under the contract, the vessel would be delivered to Russia’s Navy in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Specialists will examine the vessel and the extent of the damage after the dry dock, which had to be flooded to douse the fire, is drained again, he said.

The blaze on the Oryol submarine started in the early afternoon on Tuesday in the stern, when welding works impacted rubber-based hull insulation. Firefighters had been struggling for several hours to quench the flames before the decision was made to flood the repair dock and submerge the vessel. The fire was completely put out by midnight.

There were no weapons or nuclear fuel on board the vessel at the time of the incident. No casualties were reported. No environmental or radioactive contamination occurred, either, the shipyard said.

Russia's Investigative Committee is launching inquiries into the possibility of breached safety rules.

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