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20 Killed In Russian Submarine Fire

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At least 20 sailors and shipyard workers have died following a fire on a Russian nuclear-powered submarine which was undergoing sea trials. A further 21 were injured when a fire extinguishing system in the bow of the vessel failed, and they have been ferried ashore by support vessels.

The submarine has been ordered to suspend trials and return immediately to port in Russia's far-eastern Primorye territory.

The name and class of the vessel, and its location when fire broke out, have not been released. But it was assisted by the Russian destroyer Admiral Tributs,which is normally based at Vladivostok, Russia's main Far Eastern naval port on the Sea of Japan.

The fire broke out in the nose of the vessel and its nuclear reactor, situated in the stern, was not affected by the fire, said Russian Pacific Fleet spokesman Captain Igor Dygalo. There were no radiation leaks, he added.

"I declare with full responsibility that the reactor compartment on the nuclear-powered submarine is working normally and the radiation background is normal," he said.Of the 208 people on board when the fire broke out, 81 were servicemen.

The Admiral Tributs took some of the injured back to port.

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev was  being kept abreast of developments, and Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Kolmakov and Navy Commander-in- Chief Vladimir Vysotsky were flying to the scene.

At least 20 sailors and shipyard workers have died following a fire on a Russian nuclear-powered submarine which was undergoing sea trials. A further 21 were injured when a fire extinguishing system in the bow of the vessel failed, and they have been ferried ashore by support vessels.

The submarine has been ordered to suspend trials and return immediately to port in Russia's far-eastern Primorye territory.

The name and class of the vessel, and its location when fire broke out, have not been released. But it was assisted by the Russian destroyer Admiral Tributs,which is normally based at Vladivostok, Russia's main Far Eastern naval port on the Sea of Japan.

The fire broke out in the nose of the vessel and its nuclear reactor, situated in the stern, was not affected by the fire, said Russian Pacific Fleet spokesman Captain Igor Dygalo. There were no radiation leaks, he added.

"I declare with full responsibility that the reactor compartment on the nuclear-powered submarine is working normally and the radiation background is normal," he said.Of the 208 people on board when the fire broke out, 81 were servicemen.

The Admiral Tributs took some of the injured back to port.

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev was  being kept abreast of developments, and Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Kolmakov and Navy Commander-in- Chief Vladimir Vysotsky were flying to the scene.