Russia's nuclear submarine catches fire at shipyard

Updated: 2011-12-30 05:21


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MOSCOW - A Russian nuclear submarine caught fire on Thursday at a shipyard in Russia's northern city of Murmansk, according to local emergencies department.

"No deaths or injuries have been reported. There is no threat of nuclear pollution," the department said in a statement.

The department also said there was no need to evacuate residents from the town of Roslyakovo, Murmansk region, as the radiation level at the scene was normal.

Itar-tass news agency quoted a spokesman for the Russian Investigation Committee as saying that the blaze broke out at 16: 30 Moscow time (1230 GMT). The news agency also quoted a source as saying that the fire was extinguished later on the day.

Local authorities said fire safety violations during the K-84 Yekaterinburg nuclear submarine's routine maintenance works were the most likely cause of the fire at a floating repair dock.

Spokesman of the Russian Northern Fleet Rank Vadim Serga said the wooden scaffolding around the submarine first caught fire, which then spread to the submarine's light outer hull.

"There is no possibility of fire burning through the hull and no threat to on-board equipment," Serga was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying.

Igor Konashenkov, spokesman of the Russian Defense Ministry, told reporters that an investigation commission consisting of representatives from the Russian Navy was heading to Murmansk.

"A commission of the Russian Navy has flown to Roslyakovo on orders from the defense minister," Konashenkov said.

The K-84 Yekaterinburg nuclear submarine is one of Russia's seven Delta-IV class submarines in service, which are all deployed in the Northern Fleet. It is capable carrying 16 Sineva submarine-launched ballistic missiles.