Fourteen sailors killed in Russian underwater vessel fire

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Russian underwater vessles

Fourteen Russian sailors on board a submersible military vessel were killed after a fire broke out and they suffocated on the fumes.

The deep-sea research vessel was carrying out a survey in Russia’s territorial waters when the blaze erupted

The fire was later extinguished and the submersible subsequently docked at the Northern Fleet’s base on the Barents Sea.

An investigation has been launched to establish the cause of the fire.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu but The Kremlin gave no reason for the planned meeting.

The report came after Russian news outlet RBC cited an unnamed military source as saying the vessel was a nuclear-powered AS-12 submarine, but there was no official confirmation.

The statement did not identify the type or model of the vessel.

The deadly incident echoes one in August 2000 when a Russian nuclear-powered submarine Kursk sank to the floor of Barents Sea after two explosions in its bow, killing all 118 sailors on board.