The 14 sailors who died when a fire erupted aboard a top-secret Russian nuclear submarine last week prevented a “planetary catastrophe,” a top naval officer said at their funeral, according to local outlets.
The sailors died of smoke inhalation July 1 as they worked to stop the flames from spreading in the deep-water research submarine surveying the seafloor near the Arctic, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
Russian sailors killed after fire breaks out on nuclear submarine
Fourteen sailors died when a fire erupted aboard a Russian…
“With their lives, [the 14 sailors] saved their comrades, saved the ship and averted a catastrophe of planetary scale,” Sergei Pavlov, an aide to the Russian navy’s commander, was quoted by local outlet Fontanka as saying at the private funeral on Saturday.
The comments from Pavlov quoted in Russian media didn’t explain how the blaze could have resulted in a catastrophe of global scale.
Officials in Moscow have faced accusations of trying to cover up the full details of the incident on the vessel. It took three days for President Vladimir Putin to publicly acknowledge that there had been a nuclear reactor on board.
Russian officials have said the crew contained the fire and isolated the submarine’s nuclear reaction.
Putin last week bestowed Russia’s highest state award — the title of Hero of Russia — on four of the 14 men and granted another top award — the Order of Courage — to the others.
With Post wires
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