SEARCH-AND-RESCUE OPERATION ON BOARD THE KURSK SUBMARINE IS UNDER THE THREAT OF EXPLOSION

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Vyacheslav Gudkov Kommersant, November 19, 2001, p. 2

Officials in charge of investigating the Kursk disaster say investigators have found three logbooks with important information on board the submarine. Meanwhile, this information has not been announced.

In Murmansk on November 18, representatives of the Northern Fleet, the military prosecutor’s office, and the Rubin design bureau held the final press conference concerning the Kursk nuclear submarine. According to them, investigators have not passed over the submarine to the Navy. The trouble is that torpedoes in the bow compartment hinder examination of the submarine.

Admiral Vyacheslav Popov, Commander of the Northern Fleet, Military Prosecutor Vladimir Mulov, and Vladimir Koloskov, Deputy General Designer of the Rubin Design Bureau, attended the press conference in Murmansk. Admiral Popov said investigators of the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office have examined the stern compartments of the submarine.

Investigators now have to check the bow compartments of the submarine. Examination of this part of the submarine will take two months because specialists cannot use cranes and other hardware inside the submarine.

In addition to the investigators, a technical crew of the Northern Fleet in charge of the maintenance and transportation of the submarine to the Nerpa shipyard where the Kursk will be scrapped are examining the submarine.

Prosecutor Vladimir Mulov has confirmed that the torpedoes in the bow compartments hinder the investigation. In all, specialists have discovered two large and 17 small fragments of torpedoes.

According to the military prosecutor, investigators have found five self-recorders on board the submarine. Two of these were empty. In addition, investigators have discovered three logbooks. Colonel Mulov says they contain very important information. (…)

Meanwhile, investigators are searching for the bodies of seamen. To date 57 bodies have been evacuated from the submarine, and 56 of these have been identified. Vladimir Mulov hopes that the investigators will find more bodies in the near future.

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