15 injured in Russian nuclear submarine blaze

September 17, 2013 13:29

MOSCOW - Fifteen seamen were in the hospital on Tuesday after a fire broke out on a Russian nuclear submarine, federal investigators said, contradicting earlier reports that nobody was hurt in Monday's blaze.

The fire started during welding works on the navy submarine Tomsk, which was being repaired at the giant Zvezda shipyard near the far eastern city of Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan, military officials said.

The fire was extinguished after about five hours, the state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation, which operates the shipyard, said in a statement on Monday. It said there were no injuries.

In a report to President Vladimir Putin later on Monday, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu made no mention of injuries.

However, the federal Investigative Committee said on Tuesday the fire had "caused damage to the health of 15 servicemen" and they remained in hospital. It gave no details about their condition.

The Investigative Committee, which answers to Putin, said in a statement it was conducting a criminal investigation into the fire - which is a normal step in Russia after such an incident.

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