14 submariners died in a fire that broke out in a submersible vehicle in Russian waters on July 1, the Defense Ministry said in a statement on July 2.
“On July 1, fourteen submariners – sailors died in Russian territorial waters as a result of inhaling combustion products aboard a research submersible vehicle designated for studying the seafloor and the bottom of the World Ocean in the interests of the Russian Navy after a fire broke out during bathymetric measurements,” the defense ministry said adding that the fire was extinguished “thanks to the self-sacrificing actions of the team.”
“The causes of the incident are being investigated. The Navy’s commander-in-chief is carrying out the investigation.”
According to the defense ministry, the submersible vehicle is currently staying at the Severomorsk naval base.
The military provided no details regarding the type of the submersible vehicle involved in the incident. Nonetheless, some Russian media outlets speculated that it may have been the Project 210 submarine (also known as ‘Losharik’).
The submarine is powered by a nuclear reactor and is believed to be able to operate at a depth of many 1000s metres due to the unique spherical construction elements.