At least two people unaccounted for. Images show Russia’s only aircraft carrier engulfed in smoke.
A blaze has broken out aboard Russian Navy’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, that is currently at the Barents Sea port of Murmansk for repair works. According to the latest reports by RT.com six people have reportedly been injured, two sailors and one worker are listed as missing, as fuel is still burning aboard the ship.
The blaze was sparked by welding, after which the fire spread to a space of 600 square meters an emergency services source told TASS news agency.
The Admiral Kuznetsov is a heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser of project 1143.5, the only one in its class in the Russian Navy. It was launched in 1987 and it is named after the Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union N. G. Kuznetsov.
This is not the first time fire breaks out aboard the aircraft carrier: on Jan. 7, 2009, a small fire broke out onboard Admiral Kuznetsov while anchored off Turkey during naval exercises in the Mediterranean with a group of Northern Fleet warships. Caused by a short-circuit, the fire led to the death of one crew member by carbon monoxide poisoning.
Considered that it’s dark in Murmansk in this period of the year, some videos of the fire circulating on social media are probably showing that incident aboard the aircraft carrier in 2009.
— FlashNord (@flashnord) December 12, 2019
We will update this story as more details emerge.
Update 1, Dec. 12, 09:30 GMT:
RT.com is reporting that, Aleksey Rakhmanov, head of the state-run United Shipbuilding Corporation, told Interfax that “a human factor” could be the cause of the fire.
Update 2, Dec. 12, 10:00 GMT:
New video coming from Murmansk:
Из отсеков “Адмирала Кузнецова” вырывается густой чёрный дым.
Пожар на авианосце потушить не удаётся. До сих пор числится пропавшим без вести один человек – командир дивизиона аварийно-спасательных работ Виктор Измайлов. pic.twitter.com/KuQeSrHRme
— baza (@bazabazon) December 12, 2019