Russia accused of covering up underwater fire that killed 14

MOSCOW: Russian commentators have challenged officials for not revealing all the details about an accident on board a military submarine that killed 14 sailors. The incident took place on Monday, according to the Ministry of Defense, but was not officially released until late on Tuesday. Almost two days later, it was still unknown if the submarine was powered by nuclear energy.

Some Russian media accused the officials of depriving the public of details and drew parallels with the paucity of official information during the collapse of a Soviet at Chernobyl in 1986.

The ministry said on Tuesday that the sailors were killed in a fire in what it described as a deepwater research submarine that was examining the seabed near.

The type of vessel was not specified and there were few details of the circumstances beyond the fact that it had been in Russian territorial waters and the fire had been extinguished. A Russian media outlet, RBC, quoted an anonymous military source as saying the submarine was nuclear-powered, but Russian officials did not comment on the type of vessel involved. Norwegian authorities said on Tuesday they had not detected any abnormal radiation.