At least 20 people have died in Russia’s worst naval disaster since the sinking of the Kursk eight years ago. It follows an accident on board a nuclear submarine. Authorities say the suspect the victims were suffocated by toxic gas when the vessel’s extinguishing systems went off unexpectedly.
Both sailors and civilian shipyard workers are among the dead. Dozens more were injured and some relatives who have heard no news from their loved ones fear the worst. The navy says 208 people — or nearly three times more than its usual crew — were on board the submarine.
It is believed the sub was carrying out final trials in the Sea of Japan before entering service at the end of this year. Russia has not confirmed if the vessel is an attack sub known by NATO as an Akula-class. But authorities say it did not suffer any damage and there was no radiation leak.