Fatal Fire Aboard Russian Nuclear Icebreaker

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December 15, 2011

A fire broke out aboard the Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker, Valgach, killing two crew members and seriously injuring one.  The fire occurred early Thursday morning as the icebreaker was escorting ship through Yenisei Bay in northern Siberia.

The fire reportedly tore through the living quarters of the ship and an initial investigation said it was likely started by an electical short circuit.  Officials said in a statement that the nuclear reactor aboard the ship was not damaged in the fire and no radiation was leaked.  The fire has since been extinguished.

Earlier this year, a sister ship, the Taimyr, leaked radioactive cooling water from its reactor in the same area and had to be escorted to Murmansk for repairs, according to a report by the Moscow Times.

You can read the official statement from the ship owner HERE (if you can read Russian)

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