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24 Nov, 2008 12:34

Scapegoat found? Sailor charged with inflicting death by negligence

A sailor has been charged with manslaughter following a deadly incident on a Russian Nerpa submarine which was on sea trials earlier this month. Twenty men died of suffocation after the fire extinguishing system was activated in error, releasing Freon gas

Initial investigations concluded that the system went off automatically, but further Navy inquiries found that the crew member had activated it without permission. 

Curiously enough, the sailor’s name may be translated in English as ‘the coffin maker’.

If convicted, the sailor faces up to five years in prison.

However, “this is only one of the possible theories of the tragedy that happened, the investigators have no biasness against the sailor, a number of theories are being investigated, including a technical failure, for us the most important thing is to find out the truth,” head of the  Investigative Committee Aleksandr Bastrykin told Interfax.
The incident, which happened on November 8, killed three servicemen and 17 civilians. Another 21 people were hospitalized with various injuries.