In what is being reported as the worst submarine accident in nearly a decade 20 people died on the Nerpa, an Akula-class attack sub, during sea trials in the Pacific.
According to the report from BBC News the deaths occurred when the fire extinguishing system was activated by accident. The dead, 14 civilians and 6 sailors, where killed when they where suffocated by freon gas; which is used to put out on board fires because it removes any available oxygen from the air. The Russian Pacific Fleet spokesman Igor Dygalo has stated that the submarine wasn’t damaged as a result of the accident nor was there any radiation leak.
An additional twentry-one people were injured with varing degrees of posioning. They were transferred from the submarine to the destroyer Admiral Tributs and taken to hosibitals near Vladivostok.
[graphic courtesy of Wikimedia]