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Massive Fire on Russian Nuclear Submarine Extinguished

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A massive fire that engulfed Russia's largest nuclear subarmine while it was undergoing repairs in the northern Murmansk region has been put out.

The blaze that firefighters continued to battle for hours after it broke out on Thursday on a wooden deck near the more than 11,000- ton Yekaterinburg, has finally ended.

Some 11 fire crews were dispatched to the scene along with helicopters. State television footage showed massive plumes of smoke coming from the vessel.

Vladimir Markin is a spokesperson for Russia’s Investigative Committee.

Markin says the result of the fire was not serious. There were no fatalities. Several firefighters did receive smoke inhalation.

Officials said there was no radiation leak because the reactors had been shut down before repairs began but they will continue to monitor radiation levels.

The Kremlin says President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered an investigation into the blaze.

The nuclear submarine can carry 16 ballistic missiles, each with four warheads. Reactors for Russian submarines are built to withstand enormous shocks and high temperatures.

Russia's worst post-Soviet submarine disaster occurred in August 2000 when the Kursk nuclear submarine sank in the Barents Sea, killing all 118 crewmen aboard.

Article by Jessica Golloher, VOA News