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Major Russian Submarine Accidents Since 2000


All 118 sailors died when the Kursk sank in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000.

A fire aboard a Russian submersible on July 1 killed 14 crew members, the Defense Ministry reported. It is the nation’s deadliest submarine-related incident since 2008.

Russia has suffered several deadly submarine incidents over the past two decades, as well as a rash of fires during decommissioning at ports.

Below is a list of major accidents and fires involving Russian submarines.​

August 12, 2000

The nuclear-powered submarine Kursk sinks in the Barents Sea due to an explosion in its torpedo room, killing all the 118 submariners on board.

The K-159
The K-159

August 30, 2003

Nine crew members die when the K-159 nuclear submarine sinks in the Barents Sea during a storm. The K-159 was being towed to a harbor to have its nuclear reactors stripped when a storm broke.

August 7, 2005

Britain's Royal Navy with assistance from the United States and Japan helps rescue seven Russian sailors from a submarine off the coast of Kamchatka. The Russian submarine had been trapped for three days in fishing nets and cables and was running low on oxygen.

September 7, 2006

A fire aboard the nuclear-powered submarine Daniil Moskovskiy in the Barents Sea kills two sailors. The fire erupted in a mechanics rooms.

Relatives mourn the submariners who died on the K-152 Nerpa in 2008.
Relatives mourn the submariners who died on the K-152 Nerpa in 2008.

November 8, 2008

In the deadliest submarine incident since the Kursk, 20 Russian sailors and shipyard workers die aboard the submarine K-152 Nerpa when the fire extinguishing system is accidentally activated, causing suffocation. More than 20 are injured. ​

December 29, 2011

At least seven people are injured when a fire breaks out aboard the nuclear submarine Yekaterinburg while at a shipyard north of Murmansk. The blaze burns for nine hours, with flames reportedly reaching 10 meters high. ​

Russian Nuclear Submarine Catches Fire In Vladivostok
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September 16, 2013

Russia says 15 sailors were injured when a fire breaks out on the Tomsk nuclear submarine while at a shipyard near Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok.

The Oryol on fire in Severodvinsk on April 7, 2015
The Oryol on fire in Severodvinsk on April 7, 2015

April 7, 2015

Nuclear submarine Oryol catches fire during repairs in a dry dock in the Severodvinsk shipyard in northern Russia. No casualties are reported.

April 29, 2016

Krasnoyarsk, a Soviet-era nuclear submarine, catches fire during disassembly in Russia’s Far East. There are no reports of injuries.

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