Tag Archives: Nerpa

Russian prosecutors want retrial in submarine deaths

Navy prosecutors in Russia appealed the acquittal of two men blamed for the deaths of 20 people aboard the nuclear submarine Nerpa in a deadly 2008 accident.

The accident, in which a fire safety system was activated without permission, released poisonous freon gas, suffocating to death 20 men, including 17 civilian shipyard workers.

There were 208 people on board the vessel at the time conducting sea trials in the Sea of Japan.

Capt. Dmitry Lavrentyev was charged with abuse of authority in the accident, and engineer Dmitry Grobov was accused of causing death by negligence.

Lavrentyev and Grobov were acquitted of the charges April 26 on grounds the investigation into the accident had not been properly conducted. This was their second acquittal. A jury cleared the two men in September 2011, but the Supreme Court’s military board overturned the verdict in May 2012.

The Pacific Fleet navy prosecutors said Wednesday they think Lavrentyev and Grobov should be tried again, RIA Novosti reported.

 “In our opinion, Lavrentyev and Grobov are the only ones guilty of the accident. They are the ones who should be held responsible. We regret that the jury failed to understand this,” a spokesman said.

Other men on board the Nerpa at the time of the accident have written an open letter defending the actions of Lavrentyev and Grobov and instead blamed the defense industry for creating a fire-suppression system contaminated with a poisonous chemical, RIA Novosti reported.

Source – UPI .Com

K-152 Nerpa: Russia submarine disaster retrial opens

Video grab of Russian submarine following accident in Pacific. File photo

The accident happened during tests in the Sea of Japan

A retrial has begun in the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok of two men accused of causing an accident on a nuclear submarine in which 20 people died in 2008.

Another 21 people were injured when the K-152 Nerpa’s fire extinguishing system was activated, releasing a deadly gas.

Captain Dmitry Lavrentyev and engineer Dmitry Grobov are accused of causing “death by negligence”.

They were acquitted last year, but the verdict was later overturned on appeal.

The two men deny responsibility and blame faulty equipment for the accident in November 2008 in the Sea of Japan.

Lethal gas

The first session of the retrial focused mainly on procedural questions, and the trial was later adjourned until 20 December.

In 2008, the submarine’s fire extinguishing system was apparently activated without warning while the vessel was undergoing tests in the Sea of Japan.

The fire extinguishing system – typical on Russian submarines – uses the gas freon, which suppresses fires quickly by displacing oxygen.

But it can also be lethal for any crew members who are still in the area when the gas is released.

All those who died on Nerpa are thought to have suffocated.

It was the worst accident involving a Russian submarine since the sinking of the Kursk in 2000 when 118 people died.

Source – BBC News