Related topics

No Survivors on Russian Submarine

August 21, 2000

MOSCOW (AP) _ Norwegian divers determined Monday that a Russian submarine lying on the bottom of the sea was flooded and there was no chance of finding any survivors, an official said.

Norwegian spokesman Capt. Rune Fredheim said that meant the rescue effort was over.

``The divers have determined that the submarine is full of water. That is sad,″ he said.

There was no immediate reaction from Russian officials directing the rescue effort in the Barents Sea where the nuclear submarine Kursk was lost with 118 men during naval exercises on Aug. 12. The submarine was shattered by an enormous explosion.

Norwegian divers managed on Monday to open an escape hatch at the rear of the Kursk, but found no sign of any survivors.

Further checks indicated the entire submarine was flooded, Fredheim said.

``That in practice means the rescue effort is over,″ he said.

The Norwegians managed to lever the escape hatch open with a tool after working for more than 24 hours, officials said. An inner hatch was then slightly opened, but it became clear that the whole submarine was flooded, they said.

Rescue officials said there were no plans to deploy a British rescue mini-submarine which was standing by on a ship at the rescue scene. The divers had determined the British vessel could do nothing, they said.

Update hourly