A Russian nuclear submarine is on fire at a naval base on the White Sea just a few hundred miles from Finland's border. The submarine is of the same class as the Kursk, which was lost in an accident in August 2000 with the death of 188 hands, and caught fire while being repaired at the Severodvinsk naval base, near the city of Arkhangelsk in the west of Russia.
The Russian emergency services have not commented yet.
A source told Russian news agency TASS that "according to preliminary information, the rubber insulation between the submarine’s light and pressure hull is on fire. The submarine is in a dry dock. There is no ammunition on board."
Ilya Zhitomirsky, spokesman for the United Shipbuilding Corp., which manages the facility, said that the submarine in question is the Orel, which has two nuclear reactors on board.
“The nuclear fuel had been unloaded from Orel before it was put up on dry dock," he told RIA Novosti agency. The reactor is turned off. No workers or crew members were injured during the fire.”
Just four years ago, a similar type of fire on a nuclear submarine called the Yekaterinburg injured nine people who inhaled noxious fumes.