Russian Sub Deaths

8th November 2008, 23:34
Over 20 people have been killed after a firefighting system went off during sea trials of a nuclear submarine in Russia's Pacific Fleet, a senior navy commander was quoted as saying by the ITAR-TASS news agency.

"During sea trials of a nuclear-powered submarine of the Pacific Fleet the firefighting system went off unsanctioned, killing over 20 people, including servicemen and workers," Igor Dygalo said, without giving any details of the circumstances of the accident.

"The submarine is not damaged, its reactor works as normal and radiation levels on the submarine are normal," Captain Dygalo said.

The submarine was ordered to suspend the sea trials and return to port.

Russia's Defence Minister, Anatoly Serdyukov, reported the incident to President Dmitry Medvedev who had ordered a "full and meticulous" investigation and "all possible aid and support to the victims' families," according to the report.

FROM THE ABC this morning