APRIL 7, 2015 — A Russian nuclear submarine undergoing repairs at the United Shipbuilding Corporation’s Zvezdochka shipyard outside Arkhangelsk caught fire earlier today, according to Russian news agency and media reports.
Itar Tass quotes shipyard spokesman Yevgeny Gladyshev as saying the interhull space in the Oscar II class submarine Orel caught fire near the ninth compartment. Another source told the news agency that rubber vibration and sound insulation caught fire between the inner hull and the external hull.
The submarine has been undergoing a scheduled since November 2013. Nuclear fuel from the sub’s reactor had been unloaded and there were no armaments on board. All personnel were evacuated from the vessel and no injuries were reported.
Initial attempts to flood the space between the hulls did not, apparently, completely extinguish the fire and the latest reports are that the dry dock housing the sub will be flooded and the vessel partially submerged,
“The preparation for filling the dry dock with water is underway. The operation is necessary to extinguish the fire completely,” USC spokesman, Ilya Zhitomirsky, told the RIA Novosti agency.