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One soldier killed & another missing after fire breaks out on Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov

A fire broke out during repair works on Russia’s sole aircraft-carrying cruiser, the Admiral Kuznetsov. One soldier was killed and another went missing battling the blaze, while 10 more required medical help after the incident.

The ship was undergoing repairs while docked at the Barents Sea port of Murmansk when fuel caught fire.

The blaze was sparked by welding in the first power section on the ship’s deck, after which the fire spread to a space of 600 square meters (6,460 square feet), according to emergency services sources.

The Northern Fleet’s press office later clarified that there was “a release of smoke into one of the compartments during welding works,” and the source of the smoke was “localized.” It added that there were no munitions on board.

All workers have been evacuated from the vessel. 10 servicemen, who were helping to put out the fire, were treated for smoke inhalation, a spokesperson for Russia’s Northern Fleet said. 

Aleksey Rakhmanov, head of the state-run United Shipbuilding Corporation, told Interfax that “a human factor” could be the cause of the fire.

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One serviceman was killed during the blaze, while another still remains unaccounted for, Russia’s Northern Fleet said.

Admiral Kuznetsov is Russia’s only aircraft carrier. It has been undergoing repairs and maintenance since 2017, after completing a mission in the eastern Mediterranean, where the vessel took part in the country’s campaign in Syria.

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