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Russia: Commission Says Fuel Caused 'Kursk' Explosion

Moscow, 1 July 2002 (RFE/RL) -- A Russian government commission investigating the cause of the "Kursk" submarine tragedy released its final report today listing an explosion on the vessel, caused by fuel in one of the torpedoes, as the reason for the accident. The report concludes a two-year investigation into the cause of the explosion that sank the "Kursk" in August 2000 and killed all 118 people aboard.

Commission member Vice Admiral Valerii Dorogin said there was a fire following a thermal explosion and after that the entire stock of ammunition onboard exploded. Dorogin said after the first explosion, everyone in the front portion of the submarine died and the second explosion destroyed the rest of the vessel.

The Russian Navy pursued a number of possible causes for the accident, such as a collision with a western submarine or a leftover mine from World War II.