More than 20 people have been killed in an accident on board a Russian nuclear submarine. A spokesman for the Russian fleet says 208 people were on the sub when its fire extinguishing system malfunctioned.
The vessel’s exact whereabouts at the time of the accident have not been revealed but it is thought to have been carrying out final trials in the Sea of Japan, before entering service at the end of this year.
Some of those killed were from the company that built the submarine. More than 20 others were injured in the accident and they are now receiving treatment in hospital at Vladivostok.
Authorities say the sub’s nuclear reactor was not damaged and that radiation levels were normal. Unconfirmed reports claim the vessel was an Akula-class submarine named the Nerpa.
Despite sharp increases in funding, Russia’s navy has suffered a string of fatal accidents. This latest incident comes eight years after Russia’s worst submarine disaster, the sinking of the nuclear-powered submarine the Kursk, in which all 118 crewmembers died.