Vyacheslav Gudkov Kommersant, October 10, 2001, p. 3 EV
The Kursk nuclear submarine has been tugged to the Kola Bay. Investigators prepare to examine its compartments and evacuate the bodies.
The Giant barge is to end the passage to the Kola Bay and anchor near the Roslyakovo plant on October 10.
Divers of the Northern Fleet’s search-and-rescue service will examine the Kursk submarine regarding radiation. Then two huge pontoons will be placed under the submarine in order to decrease the immersion. After this operation ends the submarine will be docked to the PD-50 floating dock. Vladimir Navrotsky, Press Secretary of the Northern Fleet, said that this operation would take close to five days after which the Kursk will be docked.
Admiral Vyacheslav Popov, Commander of the Northern Fleet, Vladimir Mulov, Military Prosecutor of Northern Fleet, and Andrei Maiorov, investigator of the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office, visited the Murmansk International Peers Center on October 9. Andrei Maiorov said that a group of investigators of the Northern Fleet, the Leningrad military district, and the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office would be ready to examine the submarine on October 12. He stated, “The timing of the examination will depend on how quickly the submarine’s compartments will dry. First and foremost we will search for the bodies of the crew. We will start from the ninth compartment because we know that 11 people remained there.”
It will be very difficult to identify the bodies. Vladimir Mulov said: “Bodies will decompose rapidly after the water is pumped out from the submarine’s compartments. Meanwhile the evacuation of bodies will take much time because the majority of the compartments are ruined.”
Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov left the Peter the Great missile cruiser on October 9 and returned to Moscow. He told journalists that the Kursk’s reactors are safe. He noted that fragments of the first compartment of the submarine raised from the seabed would make it possible to find out the cause of the tragedy.