What happened to the Russian submarine which sank with everyone on board - did they ever find out what happened to it

01:00 Sat 03rd Nov 2001 |

asks sporty:

A. The Kursk's crew of 118 died after a series of explosions which caused the state-of-the-art submarine to fall to the floor of the Barents Sea floor. It happened during military exercises on August 12, 2000.

Its forward section was raised on October 8 at the end of a three-month, �45m salvage operation carried out by the Dutch Mammoet-Smit International consortium, which also involved many British and Russian expert divers.

Q. Have any bodies been recovered
To date, 59 bodies have been recovered from the wreck, which is in a dry dock in Russia's arctic north.

Q. What about the cruise missiles
Eight have been safely removed. There are 22 Granit cruise missiles in all. There has been a lot of concern about the state of the missiles, which have been lying on the seabed for more than a year. However, a spokesman said that the silos which hold the missiles don't seem to have been damaged. Water samples taken from inside the reactor compartment confirmed that there had been no radiation leak.

Q. What caused the explosion
Officials agree that the first explosion was likely to have been caused by an explosion of a practice torpedo in one of the nose tubes, possibly due to an internal malfunction. However, some Russian naval commanders still believe that the submarine went down after colliding with a foreign submarine.

Prosecutor-general Vladimir Ustinov, who is leading the team of investigators, said that the interior of the submarine defied description and was an example of massive destruction.

Q. What happened to the other part of the submarine
The bow section, containing the vessel's torpedoes which may have caused the disaster, is due to be raised next year.

Q. When we will we know for certain what happened
. Not surprisingly, Mr Ustinov said that the investigation would take time to reach a conclusion.

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By Sheena Miller

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