Russian nuclear submarine crippled on sea bed

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The Independent Online

More than 100 Russian sailors were trapped in their nuclear-powered submarine on the sea bed off northern Russia after technical faults forced them to shut down the nuclear reactor, the navy said.

More than 100 Russian sailors were trapped in their nuclear-powered submarine on the sea bed off northern Russia after technical faults forced them to shut down the nuclear reactor, the navy said.

Russia's independent NTV television station said the cause of the accident was flooding of the torpedo tubes and front section of the submarine Kursk, and said a power shutdown might lead to problems with oxygen supplies.

The reporter gave no source for is information. He also said a power shutdown on the vessel might lead to problems with supplies of oxygen on board.

Interfax news agency said the Kursk came into service in 1995 and had 107 people on board, including 52 officers.

The defence ministry of Norway, which has territorial waters in the Barents, said it had no information about the incident.

One of the most serious recent submarine disasters was off Norway's north coast in 1989, when a Soviet Mike class nuclear submarine, the Komsomolets, sank after fires on board.

A total of 42 crew died in the accident.

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