OSLO — A Soviet submarine was reported on fire off the coast of northern Norway early today. It was not known if the vessel was carrying nuclear weapons.
Col. Gullow Gjeseth, a spokesman for Norway's Defense Ministry, said, "We detected a call for help from a Soviet submarine in international waters off the coast and sent an F-16 (fighter jet) to inspect the area."
The F-16's pilot reported that the submarine was on the surface and surrounded by heavy smoke in international waters some 70 miles northwest of South Island, Defense Minister Johan Jorgen Holst said on state radio. It was not immediately apparent what class of submarine was on fire, he said.
3 Soviet Planes in Area
Gjeseth said there were three Soviet aircraft in the area and that one Norwegian rescue helicopter was on its way to the scene.