A Fire Kills 14 Crew Members Onboard Russian Navy Sub

"There has not been any formal communication from Russian Federation to us about this", Per Strand, a director at the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, told Reuters news agency when asked if it had been informed that the submarine was nuclear-powered.

"We are waiting for information from the Russian side about whether there was a reactor on-board the submarine", he told AFP.

Russia's defence ministry however said: "There were no notifications sent to the Norwegian side regarding the Russian science research deep water apparatus".

President Vladimir Putin said Russian Federation is ready to restart discussions with the US over arms control and denied that the collapse of a significant nuclear missile treaty between the two nations would prompt an arms race, CNBC reports.

In this video grab provided by the RU-RTR Russian television via APTN and taken on Friday Aug. 18, 2000, Russia rescue personnel return from a dive in a mini submarine to the Kursk on the sea bed in the Barents Sea, Russia.

"It's a highly professional crew", Putin said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the submarine was on a special mission, and that among the 14 dead, 7 were first rank captains and 2 were Heroes of Russia, the highest military honour.

Shoigu, who traveled to the navy's main Arctic base of Severomorsk Wednesday to oversee a probe into the fire, said the blaze erupted at the vessel's battery compartment and spread further.

Another spy sub, the Project 09852 Special Mission Submarine KC-139 Belgorod, was launched at the Sevmash Shipyard in Severodvinsk in northern Russian Federation in April.

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"Accidents have plagued the Russian navy", Kim says.

Minister Shoigu was in Severomorsk, the restricted-access military port in the Russian Arctic, on Wednesday to direct a probe into the accident. In the Barents Sea the vessel would have been studying the relief of the seabed for the navy to update its charts, military expert Viktor Baranets told the defence ministry channel TV Zvezda. Putin revealed the top-secret submarine was nuclear-powered, leading to fears that a Chernobyl-like crisis could have been repeated.

Russian Federation has seen a number of such accidents in the post-Soviet period.

An inquiry found that a torpedo had exploded, detonating all the others.

Vladimir Putin has yet to respond publicly to the disaster.

"This is the largest accident to take place on a Defense Ministry submarine since 2008, when a freon gas leak on the nuclear-powered submarine Nerpa killed 20 and injured 21", The Moscow Times reported.

In 2011, one of Russia's biggest nuclear submarines caught fire while undergoing repairs in the dock in the northern Murmansk region.

Designed in the late 1980s and launched in 2003, Russian Federation has also largely succeeded in keeping the submarine out of view and only a few photographs of what are believed to be the submarine exist.

  • Sonia Alvarado