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Russia launches probe into research submariners’ death

04 July 2019 Ridzwan Rahmat

The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched an investigation into a fire that killed 14 sailors on board a research submersible on 2 July.

According to information from the country's TASS news agency citing MoD officials, the sailors died as a result of inhaling combustion fumes. The incident was said to have occurred while the research submersible was carrying out bathymetric measurements in Russian territorial waters.

An investigation into the incident is being led by the Russian Navy's commander-in-chief, and the vessel has been brought to the Severomorsk naval base for further probes.

A separate report from Russian media outlet, RBC, has identified the stricken vessel as the country's sole Project 10831 auxiliary submarine, Losharik (AS 31), which is based with the Russian Navy's Northern Fleet.

The nuclear-powered vessel has an overall length of 69 m, an overall beam of 7 m, and a hull draught of 5.2 m. It was commissioned in 2010 to conduct underwater research, and collect bathymetric data in and around Russian territorial waters.

Jane's notes that the vessel is believed to have a diving depth of up to 1,000 m. Work on a sister vessel is believed to have started in 2012, although no confirmation on this is available.

This text originally appeared in Jane's Navy International. Find out more here.



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