Deadly Fire On Russian Victor-III
There are several reports out this morning about two Russian submariners being killed aboard the Victor-III boat Daniil Moskovsky (St. Daniel of Moscow), hull number K-414. Reports say the fire that killed the Sailors was in the "electrical equipment" section of the engine room. From one of the articles:
"Our initial information is that the fire broke out in a power distribution panel in compartment No.6," said a spokesman for Russia's Northern Fleet.This article says that the boat has already been towed back to Vidyayevo, which strikes me as pretty fast. Some other articles say the boat was anchored when the fire occurred. I think I'll wait for all the misleading initial reports to get sorted out before I try to figure out if the Russians are lying or not about this.
"The crew did everything within their power to put out the fire. Two people suffered smoke inhalation from the thick smoke. They were evacuated from the submarine but it was not possible to save their lives."
Of course, Reuters automatically came out with a list of other submarine accidents to compare this one against.
Staying at PD...
Update 2316 07 Sep: Bad news all around for Russian submariners today -- here's an article about a failed SSBN missile test.
Update 2353 07 Sep: Vigilis has much more on the K-414 fire.
Update 0644 08 Sep: Here's an excerpt of a translation of a follow-up Russian article:
A fire in one of the cells of St. Daniel of Moscow broke when the submarine was yet up-top, running from Vidyaevo naval base to the Barents Sea. When fighting the fire, two members of the crew, warrant officer Rafim Shibanov, 35, and contract sailor Igor Etyuev, 28, were heavily intoxicated by the carbon monoxide and evacuated to the vessel, which was nearby to back up the submarine in distress. But the physicians failed to save the sailors.It's looking like the Russian version of the story is iterating towards saying the boat was surfaced when the fire broke out, and there were already tugboats nearby. Normally non-Western diesel boats will surface and anchor at night, but I'm not sure why a nuclear boat would do that; maybe the Russians are getting a little dumb as they lose proficiency. In this case, though, it was probably lucky that they were surfaced -- submerged submarines fill up with smoke really, really fast when you have a major fire.
There is no threat of the nuclear contamination, the Navy assured. The breakdown wasn’t significant, said North Fleet Briefer Vladimir Navrotsky. "The fire broke in the electrical control unit, all systems were well-coordinated and the nuclear reactor was shut off.”
Nevertheless, the chiefs are unable to explain how the carbon monoxide could have killed the sailors despite that they were well equipped by special breathing apparatus. A sailor used a breathing apparatus, it is known now, but the oxygen ended in 10 minutes instead of the required 15 minutes.