THE KURSK WAS KILLED BY ITS OWN TORPEDO, EXPERTS SAY

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Konstantin Getmansky Izvestia, May 8, 2002, p. 2

EXPERTS OF DESIGN BUREAUS AND SCIENTIFIC ESTABLISHMENTS TRYING TO DETERMINE THE CAUSE OF THE KURSK CATASTROPHE HAVE DRAWN AN UNEQUIVOCAL CONCLUSION

Preparations for dismantlement of the Kursk began yesterday at the Nerpa facility in Snezhnogorsk, Murmansk region. Academic Igor Spassky of the Design Bureau Rubin claims that experts of design bureaus and scientists trying to determine the cause of the catastrophe have already drawn an unequivocal conclusion. “Design Bureau Rubin and the 1st Central Naval Institute more or less agree on one hypothesis,” Spassky said. “Specialists and scientists, we will report to the governmental commission the whole process that took place in the submarine.”

The next meeting of the investigation commission is slated for late May. For the time being, specialists’ conclusions remain unofficial, Spassky said.

“Everything will be published if the commission accepts the conclusions,” the academic said.

Spassky did not name the cause of the tragedy but it is clear even so that the matter concerns the so-called torpedo hypothesis. “We have already lifted from the seabed all parts of the torpedo launchers we were interested in,” Spassky told this correspondent. This way he denounced those previous statements of other officials to the effect that the expensive salvage operation involving the lifting of the first compartment of the submarine was needed in order to reveal the cause of the catastrophe.

“We have analyzed all fragments still lying on the seabed,” Spassky said. “It is our conviction that we need up to ten fragments more to reconstruct in detail the process of the tragedy. Not the cause, mind you. The process. The cause is an entirely different matter. We know the cause.”

According to the academic, the fragments to be lifted from the seabed yet are both small and large. Even if five fragments were lifted, it will be enough and the Special Expedition formed at the Northern Fleet will return to the Kola Gulf. The salvage operation concerning fragments of the first compartment is to begin on May 20.

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