Forgot password?
submarines shipbuilding Black Sea Fleet exercise Pacific Fleet Russian Navy Northern Fleet strategy cooperation Ukraine visits Russia piracy missiles trials Sevastopol history Sevmash presence contracts drills Baltic Fleet industry incident anti-piracy shipyards Gulf of Aden frigate training Somalia India developments reforms opinion Borei procurements policy Russia - India aircraft carrier Crimea arms exports USA St. Petersburg France tests financing Bulava Yury Dolgoruky US Navy Serdiukov cruise Mediterranean Zvezdochka NATO innovations United Shipbuilding Corporation Indian Navy Medvedev Arctic agreements commission Admiralteyskie Verfi Admiral Gorshkov Vladivostok Mistral accident hijacking corvettes overhaul Admiral Kuznetsov anniversary Russia - France Vysotsky Rosoboronexport ceremony event Yantar Severomorsk negotiations defense order conflict aircraft China deployment naval aviation investigations Black Sea Putin Varyag coast guard Novorossiysk Vikramaditya landing craft crime Far East marines Severnaya Verf meeting scandals memorials traditions Syria statistics Japan escort South Korea Yasen Neustrashimy tenders Marshal Shaposhnikov Admiral Chabanenko convoys Ukrainian Navy problems Severodvinsk Chirkov reinforcement tension firings tragedy technology Baltic Sea search and rescue Almaz Moskva frontier service Caspian Flotilla provocation hostages upgrade court Dmitry Donskoy keel laying rumors Turkey World War II death shipwreck Admiral Panteleyev Atalanta Petr Veliky helicopters Kilo class Kaliningrad Admiral Vinogradov Norway Rubin delivery launching patrols
Our friends russian navy weapons world sailing ships
Tell a friend Print version

Investigators Deny Secret Video in Submarine Disaster Trial

Investigators Deny Secret Video in Submarine Disaster Trial 25.04.2013
Text: RIA Novosty
Photo: rian.ru
Russian law enforcement officials denied on Tuesday the existence of an alleged "secret" video showing what happened during a fatal accident on the Russian Navy's Nerpa nuclear attack submarine in November 2008, in which 20 people died.

The Akula II-class submarine was undergoing sea trials when its freon gas-based fire suppression system was accidently triggered, suffocating 20 of the 208 people on board and injuring at least 21. The incident was Russia's worst naval accident since the sinking of the Kursk nuclear submarine in 2000.

The boat's captain, Dmitry Lavrentyev, was charged with abuse of authority and engineer Dmitry Grobov was accused of causing death by negligence. A jury acquitted both men on September 14, 2011, but the Supreme Court's military board overturned the verdict in May 2012 and ordered a retrial, which is now underway.

Russian media reports on the retrial on Monday claimed a video existed that was taken inside the Nerpa during the accident and that disproved several of the investigation's conclusions.

But Primorye Region investigators denied the existence of video filmed when the automated fire-extinguishing system was activated on the Nerpa.

A video related to the accident does exist, but it was made during hearings by experts to explain the operation of the submarine's automated control systems, a Primorye Region law enforcement source said on Tuesday.

"The [video] recording was made at the moment when an audio recording fr om the automated control systems was being decoded. The audio recording was included in the criminal case materials, but there was no point in including the video recording as it essentially duplicated the audio version," the source said.

The denial of the video's existence came the day after Acting Pacific Fleet Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Andrei Voitovich claimed a video existed that exonerated the crew, as it clearly showed the crew's reactions to the emergency situation on the boat.

How could they ignore it, when the video not the disk that the prosecutors office seized during the General Staff Commission's work made it impossible to attribute the accident to the poor training of the crew? Voitovich said.

Investigators have refused to add the video to the case materials, Voitovich told RAPSI on Tuesday, adding its whereabouts are unknown.

The prosecutor's office confiscated a disk immediately after the accident, Voitovich said, but it was impossible to play it outside the submarine except for on the premises of the Avrora ship control systems producer in Primorye, which has similar equipment. Avrora is a party to the dispute, as it developed the submarine's new Molibden computerized automated control system, Novaya Gazeta reported in May 2012.

This is not the first case in which prosecutors have provided biased information to the media, Voitovich claimed, adding they were trying to avoid the public criticism sparked by the retrial.

The original trial of Lavrentyev and Grobov was also dogged by controversy.

A former senior Pacific Fleet medical officer alleged in May 2011 that the Nerpa's firefighting system contained a "lethal" mixture of freon and trichloroethylene a commonly used industrial solvent that is highly toxic and corrosive rather than pure freon.

Workers at the Amur Shipyard wh ere the submarine was built said in an open letter in the same month that Lavrentyev and Grobov were "scapegoats" and that the disaster was the result of "corruption and disintegration of the military-industrial sector."

Following repairs that cost an estimated 1.9 billion rubles (about $60 million), the submarine was cleared for final sea trials before being commissioned with the Russian Navy and finally leased to the Indian Navy in April 2012. It is now named the Chakra II.

Back to the list

Related Information: