At least 20 die in accident on Russian nuclear sub

Sat Nov 8, 2008 6:23pm EST
 
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MOSCOW (Reuters) - At least 20 people died and 21 were injured in an accident on board a Russian nuclear-powered submarine from the country's Pacific Fleet, a Russian naval spokesman said late on Saturday.

The spokesman did not give the name of the submarine or specify where it was located, adding only that it was on exercises at sea and 208 people were on board.

"The reactor section (of the submarine) is working properly," he said by telephone. "The radiation levels on the ship are normal."

A Russian destroyer, the Admiral Tributs, was providing assistance and taking some of the injured crew from the submarine to port, the spokesman said.

He did not say where the ships were but the Tributs is normally based at Vladivostok, Russia's main Far Eastern naval port, according to Russian media.

President Dmitry Medvedev has been informed about the accident, Russian news agencies reported.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, writing by Michael Stott, editing by Michael Roddy)