400 KILOGRAMS OF EXPLOSIVES UNLOADED FROM THE KURSK

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Yegor Apollonov Rossiya, November 21, 2001, p. 5

A news conference has been held to update the public on the Kursk submarine situation. Missiles are being unloaded, slowly; and torpedo fragments are being removed. It is unlikely that any more bodies will be found; to date, 58 have been found and 56 identified

Investigators of the Prosecutor General’s Office, representatives of the Northern Fleet headquarters, and Rubin Design Bureau specialists called a news conference to update the public on the Kursk situation. Journalists were particularly interested in the condition of 22 Granit guided missiles the Kursk was carrying when it sank. They also wanted to know why work on the submarine has been progressing so slowly. Northern Fleet Commander Vyacheslav Popov attributed the slow pace to the fact that all missiles were placed along Compartments Two and Three of the submarine. The admiral said they were not dangerous.

Sixteen missiles have been unloaded from the Kursk so far, and the remaining ones covered with a special substance. They are somewhat damaged, and specialists do not want to take any risks, much less endanger the town of Roslyakovo. “We cannot be sure the missiles will not self-detonate when we begin the unloading,” Popov said and added that the remaining missiles would be cut out using the tubes at the Nerpa facility in Snezhnogorsk. Specialists have collected over 400 kilograms of torpedo fragments from the Kursk. Not a single undamaged torpedo has been found.

Northern Fleet Military Prosecutor Vladimir Mulov was also present at the news conference. He said five recording devices had been discovered in the Kursk but information was found in only three of them.

Asked whether it is still possible that more bodies may be found, Mulov said: “It is possible, of course, but no one can say for sure where or when they may be found.”

“We’ve done everything we could,” Mulov said.

Only 58 bodies have been found aboard the Kursk, and 56 of them have been identified.

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