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Russian sub in which 20 died going to India: report

A Russian nuclear submarine in which 20 died in a toxic gas accident will be leased to India later this year, Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday, citing a Russian military source.

world Updated: Jun 10, 2009 14:26 IST

A Russian nuclear submarine in which 20 died in a toxic gas accident will be leased to India later this year, Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday, citing a Russian military source.

“Immediately after the completion of all tests, the vessel will be given to the active-duty fleet of the Russian navy, after which its handover under lease to our Indian partners will take place,” source was quoted as saying.

“This is expected to take place before the end of this year,” he told Interfax, which identified him as a source in the Russian naval command. A navy spokesman declined to confirm the report.

The vessel in question is the attack submarine Nerpa, which was undergoing trials in the Sea of Japan in November when it suffered an accident that killed 20 sailors and shipyard workers and injured 22, Interfax said.

The accident in which the submarine’s fire-fighting system went off, filling it with a toxic gas was the latest in a string of tragedies to hit Russia’s submarine fleet in recent years.

State media said at the time that the Nerpa was to be delivered to India, under a deal in which New Delhi would pay Moscow two billion dollars for two