December 30, 2011 / 11:25 AM / 8 years ago

Timeline: Worst nuclear submarine incidents

(Reuters) - Russia said it had doused a raging blaze aboard the Yekaterinburg, a manned nuclear submarine on Friday by partially submerging the vessel at a naval shipyard.

Here is a timeline of some of the major accidents and incidents involving nuclear submarines in the 21st century:

August 12, 2000 - The Russian Oscar-II class submarine Kursk with 118 crew members sinks to the bottom of the Barents Sea after an explosion triggered a raging fire in the vessel. A 2002 report said a torpedo fuel leak caused the massive explosion.

February 9, 2001 - The nuclear submarine USS Greeneville’s rudder tears through the Ehime Maru’s lower deck during a fast surface maneuver, sinking the Japanese fishing boat within minutes. Nine people aboard die, including students and instructors in commercial fishing. Twenty-six people are rescued.

August 30, 2003 - A Russian nuclear-powered submarine, the K-159 sinks as it is being transported through the Barents Sea on its way to a scrapyard at the port of Polyarny. Nine out of the 10 crew aboard die.

January 9, 2005 - One crewman dies after the U.S. nuclear submarine San Francisco runs aground off Guam in the Pacific Ocean. Another 23 crewmen are injured.

August 1, 2005 - One worker is killed and another seriously injured in an explosion on a decommissioned Victor-III class Russian nuclear submarine docked in the northern shipyard of Severodvinsk for dismantling.

September 6, 2006 - A fire on board a Viktor-III class Russian navy submarine kills two crew. The St Daniel of Moscow was moored in the Barents sea, north of the Rybachiy peninsula near Russia’s border with Finland when it caught fire.

March 21, 2007 - Two British soldiers die and another is injured on HMS Tireless during an exercise in the Arctic.

November 8, 2008 - More than 20 people are killed and another 21 injured by toxic gas when a fire safety system misfires on Russia’s Nerpa nuclear submarine during trials in the Sea of Japan.

April 8, 2011 - Two Royal Navy personnel are shot, one fatally, on board the Astute, a British nuclear submarine in the southern English port of Southampton. Another sailor is later arrested. The 7,500-tonne vessel is the first of a new class of British nuclear-powered submarines which will be the largest and most powerful attack submarines ever built for the navy. The submarine had run aground the previous October for ten hours near the Skye Bridge and the captain was relieved of his command the next month.

December 30, 2011 - A fire aboard the 167-metre (550 feet) 18,200-tonne Yekaterinburg is extinguished after blazing for nearly a full day and night. Nine people are injured. The submarine is based at the Roslyakovo dock, one of the main dockyards of Russia’s Northern Fleet, 1,500 km (900 miles) north of Moscow.

Sources: Reuters; Greenpeace (

Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit

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