Friday, January 25, 2008

Crash of the Week: The Kursk

K-141 Kursk was a Russian nuclear cruise missile submarine which was lost with all hands when it sank in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000.

The Kursk sailed out to sea to perform an exercise of firing dummy torpedoes at Pyotr Velikiy, a Kirov class battlecruiser. On August 12, 2000 at 11:28 local time (07:28 UTC), the missiles were fired, but an explosion occurred soon after on Kursk. The only credible report to-date is that this was due to the failure and explosion of one of Kursk’s new/developmental torpedoes. The chemical explosion blasted with the force of 100-250 kg of TNT and registered 2.2 on the Richter scale. The submarine sank to a depth of 108 metres, approximately 135km (85 miles) off Severomorsk, at 69°40′N, 37°35′E. A second explosion 135 seconds after the initial event measured between 3.5 and 4.4 on the Richter scale, equivalent to 3-7 tons of TNT. Either this explosion or the earlier one propelled large pieces of debris far back through the submarine.

Kursk was eventually raised from her grave by a Dutch team using the barge Giant 4, and 115 of the 118 dead were recovered and laid to rest in Russia.



A particularly scary image...I think this is the collapsed nose cone of a torpedo:


I don't think even Tim Zim could make this look pretty again...even with some wood cladding:

10 comments:

bonnie said...

Brrrrrr.

Don't like sunken submarines. Those poor guys.

I would like to recommend a very good book about the man who made being in a sunken submarine anything less than a death sentence, and the first sub crew rescued by his inventions - The Terrible Hours by Peter Maas.

Tim Zim said...

I have enough on my plate - thanks!

Respect for all the people who live and work at depth. Not a job for the feint hearted.

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