AFP

Russia military fire navy December 13 2019 - 10:29 AM

Russian aircraft carrier fire extinguished =(File Picture+Video)= Moscow, Dec 13, 2019 (AFP) - Emergency workers have extinguished the fire that broke out on the Russian navy's only aircraft carrier, Russian news agencies reported Friday. The fire on board the flagship Admiral Kuznetsov started on Thursday and caused the death of at least one person, Russia's Northern Fleet based in Murmansk had said. The TASS and RIA Novosti news agencies said the flames of the main fire had been extinguished early on Friday morning and that firefighters were looking for any hidden outbreaks. Ten people were hospitalised on Thursday from smoke inhalation during the fire on the giant ship docked at the Zvezdochka shipyard in the northern port city of Murmansk. As well as the naval serviceman killed, an officer was missing after descending to the location of the fire. The accident occurred during refit works started in April 2018 by Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation. In October 2018 the ship suffered another accident when a crane collapsed onto its deck, killing one worker. Russian daily Kommersant reported on Friday that the fire started when hot metal fell down a shaft and came into contact with a pile of garbage lying on a lower deck, which included a piece of oily cloth. The fire alarm on the ship had been dismantled during the refit, which was why the fire had a chance to spread, the newspaper said, quoting its sources. A probe was launched Thursday into possible construction safety violations. Kommersant said damage from the fire was mostly to cables which were to be replaced in the refit. The work on the ship, with a reported cost of about $1 billion, was contracted following the carrier's deployment as head of a naval group off the Syrian coast. The Admiral Kuznetsov was to be the first of a new fleet of Soviet aircraft carriers, but the Russian navy has been hit by a huge drop in funding since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. ma/mm/ach

Issue 79