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Russian Nuclear Submarine Sinks, Killing at Least 2

August 30, 2003|From Associated Press

MOSCOW — A Russian nuclear-powered submarine sank in the Barents Sea early this morning as it was being towed to a scrap yard, killing at least two of the 10-member crew, the Defense Ministry said.

The K-159 submarine's nuclear reactor was shut down and no weapons were aboard when the vessel sank about 3 1/2 miles northwest of Kildin island, the ministry said. One sailor was rescued, two bodies were found and the fate of seven others was unknown, the ministry said.

The 1960s-era attack submarine was decommissioned in 1989. It was being towed on floating hulls from its base in the town of Gremikha to a plant in Polyarnyy to be scrapped. The hulls were torn off Friday night during a fierce storm, and the submarine sank in 560 feet of water, the ministry said.

Russia's last major submarine accident was the sinking of the Kursk on Aug. 12, 2000, also in the Barents. All 118 men on board were killed.

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