Twenty die on Russian submarine

#1
At least 20 people have died in an incident involving the failure of a fire extinguishing system on a Russian nuclear submarine, local media report.

Russian Pacific Fleet spokesman Igor Dygalo said both sailors and shipyard workers died in the incident, which occurred during sea trials.

He said the submarine itself had not been damaged and there had been no radiation leaks.

Military prosecutors are investigating the incident.

Injured evacuated

The submarine, whose name and class have not been revealed, has been ordered to suspend sea trials and return to port in the far eastern Primorye territory, Capt Dygalo said.

"I declare with full responsibility that the reactor compartment on the nuclear-powered submarine is working normally and the radiation background is normal," he said, quoted by Itar-Tass news agency.

There were 208 people on board at the time, 81 of whom were servicemen.

Twenty-one injured people have been evacuated from the submarine, sources at the fleet said.

Reports say the incident occurred in the nose of the vessel. The nuclear reactor, which is in the stern, was not affected.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is being kept fully informed about the incident, his press service said.

Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Kolmakov and Navy Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Vysotsky are flying to the scene of the incident.

Russia's worst submarine disaster happened in August 2000, when the nuclear-powered Kursk sank in the Barents Sea. All 118 people on board died.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7718156.stm
 
#3
parapauk said:
RIP.

Any details on the sub type?
Not that I have seen, must be either a new build or something that has just had a resit given it had dock works on-board during its sea trial phase.

Another sad tail, bet Russian sailors sleep sound in their bunks :S
 
#6
Yea, seems like it was the Akula-II class sub Nerpa, one of the ones which is to be leased to India, no official statements on that yet though.

They know how it started though:

"More than 20 people were killed during sea trials as a result of the accidental launch of the fire-extinguishing system on a nuclear submarine of the Pacific Fleet on November 8," Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said. "Shipyard workers and service personnel are among the victims."
 
#7
I want to know what gas they were using on that boat, and more importantly why they are using a gas that can kill in an enclosed space (I have read they had Freon gas, but could be wrong)?!

I happen to work for a fire company atm and there are many forms of gas that would have saved these men’s lives and been just as effective at fighting any form of fire.
 
#8
Gust.Avrakotos said:
I want to know what gas they were using on that boat, and more importantly why they are using a gas that can kill in an enclosed space (I have read they had Freon gas, but could be wrong)?!

I happen to work for a fire company atm and there are many forms of gas that would have saved these men’s lives and been just as effective at fighting any form of fire.
It was freon.
 
#9
rickshaw-major said:
Gust.Avrakotos said:
I want to know what gas they were using on that boat, and more importantly why they are using a gas that can kill in an enclosed space (I have read they had Freon gas, but could be wrong)?!

I happen to work for a fire company atm and there are many forms of gas that would have saved these men’s lives and been just as effective at fighting any form of fire.
It was freon.
:( That's depressing.

Why is this stuff being used on a piece of kit worth hundreds of millions? I can run downstairs and get some none lethal gas that's none explosive and none corrosive, it’s freely available and cheap as chips!

Tell me we don’t use Freon on out subs? Pretty please!
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#10
Gust.Avrakotos said:
rickshaw-major said:
Gust.Avrakotos said:
I want to know what gas they were using on that boat, and more importantly why they are using a gas that can kill in an enclosed space (I have read they had Freon gas, but could be wrong)?!

I happen to work for a fire company atm and there are many forms of gas that would have saved these men’s lives and been just as effective at fighting any form of fire.
It was freon.
:( That's depressing.

Why is this stuff being used on a piece of kit worth hundreds of millions? I can run downstairs and get some none lethal gas that's none explosive and none corrosive, it’s freely available and cheap as chips!

Tell me we don’t use Freon on out subs? Pretty please!
Is there a breathable gas that can be used to suppress fires - I thought the idea was to remove all oxygen and create a positive pressure of neutral non-combustable gas in the enclosed area?
I have worked on projects where argon was used to do this - but there were safety mechanisms in place to protect individuals caught in such an environment.
 
#11
Alsacien said:
Is there a breathable gas that can be used to suppress fires - I thought the idea was to remove all oxygen and create a positive pressure of neutral non-combustable gas in the enclosed area?
I have worked on projects where argon was used to do this - but there were safety mechanisms in place to protect individuals caught in such an environment.
There are quite a few gases that are safe to use even in habitable areas.

I am not an expert in this area, but the company I work for manufactures the stuff and I have sat in on a few meetings where they have talked about the stuff.

The way it has been explained to me is, (these numbers are off but give the you the idea) you only need 40% of the oxygen in the air to be able to breath, a fire needs 60%, so they use a gas that removes 50% of the oxygen.

The fire goes out, but you will live, although it is very uncomfortable.
 
#12
Indeed the gas would have to exclude oxygen to put the fire out, I can't see how a non toxic gas could work unless it lowered temperature considerably and that could be equally dangerous to life.

Edited: Sorry, was posting at same time as you. Thanks for the heads up.
 
#13
For the life or me, I can't understand why they would use Freon. I assume that they are referring to R12, and not using 'Freon' as a generic term for refrigerant gas. R12, when exposed to high enough temperatures (as found at the tip of a cigarette, for example) produces toxic gases including phosgene, the dangers of which I am sure most people will be aware. As Gust says, there are other ways, and my fish-head friends tell me that they use a water-fog system which can be used safely with people in the compartment.
 
#14
Even in the RN, ships and boats have fixed fire-fighting systems which use halon or CO2 drench systems to fight fire- usually in large / sensitive compartments where putting a fire out fast is the priority.

A fire on a submarine is very, very bad news indeed and it has to be fought aggressively. The fewer people you have on board / the lower the standard of their training, then the greater your need for fixed systems.

Poor training and / or maintenance may well have been an issue here. 19 sailors have lost their lives.

Boats are dangerous. That's why submariners get extra pay.
 
#16
The trick is to reduce the percentage of O2 in the vicinity of the fire. Halogenated Hydrocarbons are very good for this as they are denser than air so tend to collect at floor level (where most fires are). One problem with is, as pointed out earlier, they are not very good for class D (burning metal) fires as they decompose into some lovely gasses like phosgene. Nor are they particularly good for confined compartment where folk can't escape from.

Water fog is a bit different. The water droplets in the fog have a huge surface area that soaks up a lot of heat and that extinguishes the fire.

RIP to those involved, submariners have lots of pretty crappy ways to die.

Editted for crop speeling
 
#17
MikeMcc said:
The trick is to reduce the percentage of O2 in the vicinity of the fire. Halogonated hydrocarbons are very good for this as they are denser than air so tend to collect at floor level (where most fires are). One problem with is, as pointed out earlier, they are not very good for class D (burning metal) fires as they decompose into some lovely gasses like phosgene. Nor are they particularly good for confined compartment where folk can't escape from.

Water fog is a bit different. The water droplets in the fog have a huge surface area that soaks up a lot of heat and that extinguishes the fire.

RIP to those involved, submariners have lots of pretty crappy ways to die.
I thought Halogenated hydrocarbons like BCF (bromochlorodifluoromethane) were out of date now and no longer used?
 
#18
Apparently the gas my company use a lot of is Fm-200. Worst side effect from that is a bit of frostbite and it’s used on everything from server rooms to petroleum processing plants.

Might call up the Russian MOD and see if I can get them interested, if they not all hammered of the Vodka that is.
 
#19
Markintime said:
MikeMcc said:
The trick is to reduce the percentage of O2 in the vicinity of the fire. Halogonated hydrocarbons are very good for this as they are denser than air so tend to collect at floor level (where most fires are). One problem with is, as pointed out earlier, they are not very good for class D (burning metal) fires as they decompose into some lovely gasses like phosgene. Nor are they particularly good for confined compartment where folk can't escape from.

Water fog is a bit different. The water droplets in the fog have a huge surface area that soaks up a lot of heat and that extinguishes the fire.

RIP to those involved, submariners have lots of pretty crappy ways to die.
I thought Halogenated hydrocarbons like BCF (bromochlorodifluoromethane) were out of date now and no longer used?
Can still be used for this purpose in fixed installations.
 
#20
Joe_Private said:
For the life or me, I can't understand why they would use Freon. I assume that they are referring to R12, and not using 'Freon' as a generic term for refrigerant gas. R12, when exposed to high enough temperatures (as found at the tip of a cigarette, for example) produces toxic gases including phosgene, the dangers of which I am sure most people will be aware. As Gust says, there are other ways, and my fish-head friends tell me that they use a water-fog system which can be used safely with people in the compartment.
We did trials on the water-fog system at Shoeburyness - the ships magzines are still in location. The system is highly effective at suppressing flame and general cooling.
 

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