A fire broke out aboard the only aircraft carrier of Russia, the Admiral Kuznetsov. The incident took place in the shipyard of Murmansk, on the Arctic Coast. Welding work would be the source of the flames. It is the second fire to affect the ship in a decade and the latest incident in a long series.
Welding operations on one of the aircraft carrier’s power units was ongoing on the morning of December 12, 2019, when a fire broke out. According to the Zvezdochka shipyard, quoted by RIA Novosti, the ignition of power cables is responsible for the incident.
About 400 workers were on board when the fire broke out. While most of the workers were evacuated, three of them that were in the hold are missing. Six people were reportedly injured and were hospitalized, including one in serious condition.
The fire is now under control but hasn’t been completely extinguished. An area of 120 square meters inside the flagship of the Russian navy was destroyed by the flames.
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov came into service in 1990. Capable of housing 24 aircraft, its last deployment dates back to 2016 when it was used to support Russian operations in Syria. The following year, the ship that hadn’t undergone major repairs since 1997 was immobilized.
Its renovation and modernization, valued at $ 340 million, aims to give it new systems of electronic warfare, communication, navigation, and combat. But in October 2018, an incident put the Admiral Kuznetsov in jeopardy. Its floating deck suddenly sank and a crane that fell on the bridge caused extensive damages. With the Navy doctrine refocusing on submarines, the fire could seal the fate of the last Russian aircraft carrier.