MOSCOW, July 2. /TASS/. Military investigators have launched a probe into the deaths of sailors in a fire on a submersible vehicle, spokeswoman for the Investigative Committee Svetlana Petrenko told TASS on Tuesday.
"Military investigative bodies of Russia’s Investigative Committee are carrying out a pre-investigative check into the deaths of submariners. A procedural judgment will be passed following the results of the check," Petrenko said.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement released earlier on Tuesday that 14 submariners had died in a fire on a submersible vehicle in Russian waters on July 1.
"On July 1, fourteen submariners - sailors died in Russian territorial waters as a result of inhaling combustion products aboard a research submersible vehicle designated for studying the seafloor and the bottom of the World Ocean in the interests of the Russian Navy after a fire broke out during bathymetric measurements," the statement says.
The fire was extinguished "thanks to the self-sacrificing actions of the team," the statement says.
The submersible is currently staying at the Severomorsk naval base.
"The causes of the incident are being investigated. The Navy’s commander-in-chief is carrying out the investigation," the statement says.