Note reveals Kursk horror

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The Independent Online

A note found on one of the four bodies raised from the nuclear submarine Kursk testified that at least 23 people remained alive after power explosions killed most of the crew, the ITAR-Tass new agency reported today.

A note found on one of the four bodies raised from the nuclear submarine Kursk testified that at least 23 people remained alive after power explosions killed most of the crew, the ITAR-Tass new agency reported today.

It was the first sign that anyone had survived the initial blasts that tore apart the submarine and sunk it in the Barents Sea on Aug. 12.

Russian Navy chief Adm. Vladimir Kuroyedov cited a note found in the pocket of a seamen identified only as Lt. D.R. Kolesnikov, ITAR-Tass said.

"All the crew from the sixth, seventh and eighth compartments went over to the ninth. There are 23 people here. We made this decision as a result of the accident. None of us can go to the top," Kuroyedov quoted the note as saying.

The note went on to mention the figures 13 and five and then added "I am writing blindly," Kuroyedov said.

Many Russian officials had said that some crew could have remained alive after the disaster, as indicated by reports of tapping sounds detected from the submarine in the first days.

But others discounted the reports as unsubstantiated and said the sounds could have been caused by collapsing equipment or the submarine settling into the seabed.

The note may indicate that the survivors of the initial explosions died of drowning, hypothermia or high pressure.

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