MOSCOW – The fire safety system on a brand-new Russian nuclear submarine accidentally turned on as the sub was being tested in the Sea of Japan, spewing a gas that suffocated 20 people and sent 21 others to the hospital, officials said Sunday.
Overcrowding may have been a significant factor on Saturday.
The victims suffocated after the submarine’s fire-extinguishing system released Freon gas, said Vladimir Markin, an official with Russia’s top investigative agency. He said forensic tests found Freon in the victims’ lungs.
In 2003, 11 people also died when a Russian submarine that was being taken out of service sank in the Barents Sea. —From YAHOO! News, 11/09/08. Read the rest here.