Video of a Russian submarine engulfed in thick, black smoke caused concern as it quickly made the rounds on social media last month. What appeared to be a sizable fire was on or near one sub which was also close to four other Russian submarines docked nearby.
According to Business Insider, the footage was captured near Russia’s submarine base in Vladivostok, the home port of the Russian Pacific fleet.
The Russian navy downplayed the striking footage, calling the fire part of an “exercise.”
Popular Mechanics reported that the submarine involved appeared to be a Kilo-class submarine, which is one of Russia’s non-nuclear attack submarines.
The Russian news outlet Tass attempted to explain the incident, according to a computer translation:
“Exercises to extinguish a fire on the pier using imitation were conducted on the territory of the connection of the Pacific Fleet submarines among the personnel. The contingent fire was eliminated in six minutes,” the translation said.
Of course, these claims seem unlikely given the intensity of the blaze. That and the fact that the Russian navy is powerful in some ways, but it has had trouble with fires before.
Business Insider reported that these submarines have a “history of accidents.”
In 2013, an explosion from a fire on the INS Sindhurakshak killed 18 crew members and sank the submarine. In 2014, a fire on the INS Sindhuratna killed two Indian Navy officers.
That is not exactly a good track record.
Take a look at the fire from two different angles:
— Capt(N) (@Capt_Navy) January 21, 2018
If that is a training exercise, it looks like a dangerous one.
We may never know the truth about the fire, or the “exercise,” as Russia will say what it must to make their military look good.
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