13 Dec 2019 11:39

Fire on board Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier burning for over 24 hours

MURMANSK. Dec 13 (Interfax) - The fire that broke out on board the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier on Thursday has not been fully extinguished, a source in the emergency services told Interfax.

"The open flames were put out at 4:46 a.m. Moscow time. Yet the fire is still burning. [Fire fighters] are still at work," the source said.

Another source told Interfax that the search for a missing officer was still ongoing.

The fire broke out on board Russia's only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, which had been under repair at the 35th ship maintenance plant of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) in Murmansk since 2018, on Thursday. The fire spread across 600 square meters.

A damage control officer died as a result of the fire, and another officer went missing. In addition, ten smoke-poisoned servicemen were given medical treatment, the Northern Fleet press service said in a statement.

A criminal case was opened on counts of violations of safety rules during construction and other works.

USC head Alexei Rakhmanov told Interfax that the fire might have been caused by a human error.

The government contract for repairs and modernization of the aircraft carrier was signed with the Zvezdochka ship maintenance plant in April 2018. The USC promised that the ship would reunite with the Russian Navy in 2020.