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Russia remembers Kursk submarine disaster 15 years on

A total of 118 people died as the submarine sank while taking part in a naval exercise in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000

MURMANSK, August 12. /TASS/. On Wednesday, August 12, Russia remembers the Kursk submarine disaster exactly 15 years ago, paying tribute to the memory of its 118 crew.

Meetings will be held at all Russian fleets, church prayers for the dead will be read.

 Seamen of the Russian Pacific Fleet observed minute’s silence on Wednesday, August 12, in memory of the seamen from the Kursk submarine. Remembrance meetings were held at naval ships at noon local time, said Roman Martov, the head of the press service’s information department.

Flowers and wreaths were brought in the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok to the memorial bearing the names of graduates from Makarov Pacific Naval institute killed in the disaster, he said.

On August 12, 2000, the submarine commanded by Captain First Rank Gennady Lyachin was taking part in a naval exercise in the Barents Sea. At about 11 am local time, two underwater explosions were fixed in the area of the exercise. On August 13, sonar equipment of the Pyotr Velikiy cruiser found the submarine lying at a depth of 108 meters.

A salvage operation was launched, but submersibles failed to dock with the sunken Kursk. On August 19, the operation was expanded into an international one with the Norwegian Seaway Eagle and Normand Pioneer as well as a British rescue vessel joining it. On August 21, Norwegian divers opened the inner hatch of the ninth compartment, stating that all the crew were dead. One year after the submarine was raised to the surface.

Investigators established that an explosion ripped through a torpedo mount because of a faulty weld in the casing causing hydrogen peroxide fuel to leak. Other torpedoes exploded later. Twenty-three seamen who were still alive retreated into another compartment, where they died a day after.