14 sailors killed in submarine fire laid to rest in Russia
The combo of photos of the 14 crew members who died in a fire on a Russian navy's deep-sea research submersible, distributed on July 4, 2019, by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, shows from a top row: Captain 1st rank Denis Dolonsky, Captain 1st rank Nikolay Filin, Captain 1st rank Vladimir Abankin, Captain 1st rank Andrei Voskresensky, Captain 1st rank Anatoly Ivanov, Captain 1st rank Denis Oparin, Captain 1st rank Konstantin Somov, Bottom row: Captain 2nd rank Alexander Avdonin, Captain 2nd rank Sergei Danilchenko, Captain 2nd rank Dmitry Solovyov, medical service Colonel Alexander Vasilyev, Captain 3rd rank Viktor Kuzmin, Captain 3rd rank Vladimir Sukhinichev, Lt. Captain Mikhail Dubkov. The Defense Ministry said the 14 seamen were killed by toxic fumes from the blaze. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
Dmitry Lovetsky, The Associated Press
Published Saturday, July 6, 2019 8:52AM EDT
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- The 14 Russian seamen who died in a fire on one of the navy's research submersibles earlier this week were laid to rest in St. Petersburg on Saturday.
The sailors were killed in the blaze on the unnamed submarine in the Barents Sea on Monday. Officials withheld details of the tragedy, citing the utmost secrecy of the vessel's mission.
The Defence Ministry said the sailors were killed by toxic fumes from the fire. Some others survived the fire but the military hasn't said how many. Officials didn't name the nuclear-powered vessel, but Russian media reported that it was Russia's most secret submersible, the Losharik.
The 14 seamen were buried at a cemetery in St. Petersburg, which was cordoned off by the military. Media weren't allowed to attend a vigil at the local church or the burial which was attended by top military officials and naval officers.
Journalists were able to visit the cemetery after the ceremony was over. The 14 fresh graves were dug out next to the resting places of some of the crewmembers of the Kursk submarine, which sank during naval manoeuvrs in 2000, killing all 118 seamen onboard in Russia's worst submarine disaster.
Some of the relatives of the 14 seamen stayed on at the cemetery plot, putting up candles or sharing a moment of silence with friends and family.