Vladimir Putin conveyed his sincere condolences to the families of the dead and gave instructions on providing them with assistance and support.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Shoigu, go ahead please.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu: Mr President,
As we reported to you yesterday, a fire occurred aboard a deep-water research submersible in the Northern Fleet, which was carrying out seabed research in Russian territorial waters in the Barents Sea. Fourteen crew members died of smoke inhalation.
The crew extinguished the fire through their decisive action. At present, the deep water submersible is at the Severomorsk Navy Base. It is being inspected to establish the cause of the accident. A commission headed by Navy Admiral Yevmenov has been appointed to investigate this tragedy.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Shoigu, this is an unusual vessel. We both know that this is a research vessel with a highly professional crew. From your preliminary reports, of the 14 killed, seven were captains and two were Heroes of Russia. This is a huge loss for the fleet and the military in general.
I would like to convey my most sincere condolences to the families of the dead. We must do everything we can to provide assistance and support for them.
I would like to ask you to leave for Severomorsk to personally review the reports and make sure the commission reveals the cause of this tragedy by any means necessary. Please report to me personally on this issue upon your return.
Sergei Shoigu: Yes, sir.