RUSSIALINK: “Blaze that affected sub broke out in battery area – expert” – Interfax

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

MOSCOW. July 3 (Interfax) – The fire on board a Russian Navy deep-sea submersible, in which 14 submariners died, broke out in the submarine’s battery tank, Konstantin Sivkov, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Rocket and Artillery Sciences, said on Wednesday.

“It is now known for sure what caused this accident: the fire broke out in the submarine’s battery area; that is, in the area where the batteries are located. The cause of the fire has yet to be identified,” Sivkov said in an interview with the TV channel Rossiya-24.

This ignition caused an air-and-fuel fire, which the crew managed to contain and neutralize, he said. “But fourteen sailors died carrying out shipboard damage control operations,” Sivkov said.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported on July 2 that fourteen naval officers died in a fire on board a research deep-sea submersible. The incident occurred in Russian territorial waters of the Barents Sea on board a research deep submergence vehicle designed to explore near-bottom layers and the bottom of the world’s oceans for the Russian Navy. The submersible is currently in Severomorsk, the main base of Russia’s Northern Fleet.