Russian nuclear submarine catches fire at dockyard

By Reuters
Thursday, December 29, 2011 12:45 EDT
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A navy spokesman said all the weapons had been removed from the Yekaterinburg nuclear submarine, which launched a ballistic missile from the Barents Sea as recently as July, before repair work started, Interfax news agency reported.

The Defence Ministry said the nuclear reactor had been shut down.

The fire is believed to have started when wooden scaffolding caught fire during repairs to the K-84 submarine, which some Russian news agencies said had been hoisted into a dry dock.

“Radiation levels are normal,” a spokeswoman for the emergencies ministry in the Murmansk region, where the shipyard is located, said by telephone. “No one was injured.”

“Firefighters are trying to put out the fire,” she added.

Russia’s worst post-Soviet submarine disaster occurred in August 2000 when the Kursk nuclear submarine sank in the Barents Sea killing all 118 crewmen aboard.

(Reporting by Gleb Bryanski; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Alissa de Carbonnel)

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