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THE WORLD | IN BRIEF / RUSSIA

Towing of Subs Suspended After Deaths

September 01, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

Russian Defense Minister Sergei B. Ivanov blamed the sinking of a derelict nuclear submarine on carelessness that he described as characteristic of the country, and he ordered a temporary halt to the towing of decommissioned subs.

The K-159 submarine sank Saturday in the Barents Sea as it was being towed to an Arctic scrap yard, where its reactors were to be removed and dismantled. Nine of the 10 sailors aboard died. Environmentalists have suggested that officials were playing down the danger of contamination, but Ivanov said radiation levels were normal.

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