Fresh details about the fire on a Russian submersible that claimed 14 lives were given by the defense minister. He confirmed that the ship was nuclear-propelled and that the fire broke in the battery compartment of the sub.
"The nuclear reactor on the submersible has been fully isolated," Sergey Shoigi told President Vladimir Putin.
The vessel's crew also "conducted all necessary measures to protect the reactor. It’s fully functional. So we hope the repair of the submersible can be done quickly."
The main cause of the tragedy was a fire which broke out in the sub’s battery compartment and “managed to somewhat spread.” Battery malfunction was earlier viewed as the likely cause of the deadly blaze by Russian defense experts.
The president and the minister also discussed compensation for the families of the 14 officers who died in the fire.
“We are working with each family individually,” Shoigu said, adding that “all necessary help will be provided.”
This is what the law mandates and this is our duty to our dead sailors.
Earlier, the ministry released the full list of names of those killed on the underwater research vessel in the Barents Sea. They were all high-ranking officers, including seven Capt. First Rank. Two were ‘Heroes of the Russian Federation’.
Few details were officially confirmed about the incident or survivors. It was announced, however, that a team of “unique” naval specialists conducted “important research of the Earth’s hydrosphere.”
There was also a civilian on board, whose life was spared due to the actions of the crew, who “sealed the hatch after him to prevent fire from spreading throughout the submersible and fought to save the ship right to the end.”