Blaze hits Russia's only aircraft carrier

2019-12-13 03:36:28 GMT2019-12-13 11:36:28(Beijing Time) Sina English

A fire broke out on Thursday on Russia’s only aircraft carrier as it underwent repairs in an Arctic shipyard, Russian news agencies said, with at least one worker reported missing.

The Admiral Kuznetsov has been undergoing repairs for more than two years in Murmansk and sustained damage in October 2018 when a crane crashed onto its deck.

State news agency RIA Novosti quoted a source in the Zvezdochka shipyard as saying the fire broke out during welding operations.

More than 400 people were on board when the fire erupted, state news agency TASS quoted a Zvezdochka spokesman as saying.

News agency Interfax reported that the fire had spread over 600 square metres.

The Admiral Kuznetsov — launched in 1985 and the flagship of the Russian navy — has been undergoing its first major repairs since 1997.

The repairs were expected to be completed by the end of 2020, with the warship rejoining the navy in 2021.

The repairs and upgrades, with a reported cost of up to 62 billion rubles (US$1 billion), were to focus on the ship’s power plant and onboard electronic systems.

Last year’s collapse of the crane on the ship’s deck, which killed one worker and caused major damage, raised concerns the work would be delayed and the carrier out of commission beyond the 2021 deadline.

(Agencies)

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