Russia’s only aircraft carrier damaged as floating dock sinks

Four people were injured and one person is missing after the accident involving the Admiral Kuznetsov at the PD-50 floating dock. (AFP)
Updated 30 October 2018
0

Russia’s only aircraft carrier damaged as floating dock sinks

  • Four people were injured and one person is missing after the accident involving the Admiral Kuznetsov
  • The Admiral Kuznetsov is undergoing its first major repairs since 1997

MOSCOW: Russia’s only aircraft carrier was damaged and a giant floating dock sank after a crane crashed onto the vessel as it was undergoing repairs near the Arctic city of Murmansk on Tuesday.
Four people were injured and one person was missing after the accident involving the Admiral Kuznetsov at the PD-50 floating dock, the largest in Russia and one of the largest in the world, local authorities and media said.
“We are assessing the extent of the damage. A crane fell onto the deck from a height of about 15 meters (45 feet),” the head of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation Alexei Rakhmanov told the TASS news agency.
“It is clear there is damage to the hull and the deck. Fortunately, it happened on those parts that are not vital” to the work of the ship.
Local media said the floating dock being used to repair the vessel had sunk.
The accident occurred at 3:30 am (midnight GMT) at the repair shipyard near Murmansk, the governor of Murmansk region Marina Kovtun said in a video she posted on social media.
“Unfortunately, one person is still not found,” she said.
In a second video, Kovtun said one of the hospitalized workers was in a serious condition and that “doctors are fighting for his life.”
“Four workers were removed from the water with signs of frostbite and taken to a medical facility,” the regional branch of Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement on its website.
It added that the accident could be the result of “violations in the operation” of the ship repair facilities.
Rakhmanov later said the incident was caused by a sudden power cut which meant the dock did not function normally.
“During the exiting (of the ship) from the dock, the ballasting system did not work properly. This was due, as our colleagues say, to a sudden power cut from the shore,” he told TV channel Zvezda.
But in a statement on its website, Russian state power company Rosseti said “the networks supplying the shipyard worked in normal mode.”
The Admiral Kuznetsov is undergoing its first major repairs since 1997. They are expected to be completed by the end of 2020 for the warship to rejoin the Russian Navy in 2021.
The vessel was deployed to the Mediterranean in 2016 and early 2017 to strike targets in Syria and help Moscow ally President Bashar Assad recapture rebel-held areas in the war-torn country.
International media noted that the ship was belching clouds of black smoke as it sailed toward Syria via the English Channel in October 2016.


Kremlin laments US ‘unpredictability’ under Trump

Updated 14 November 2018
0

Kremlin laments US ‘unpredictability’ under Trump

  • Peskov’s comments come two weeks ahead of a slated face-to-face between President Donald Trump and Putin at a G20 summit in Argentina
  • Relations between the two countries have hit new lows with American officials planning to roll out fresh sanctions against Moscow

SINGAPORE: The Kremlin hit out Wednesday at the “unpredictability” of the United States under the Trump administration, saying it was causing “deep global concern.”
“The fact that America has become unpredictable lately is no secret to anyone,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Dozhd TV during a visit by President Vladimir Putin to a regional summit in Singapore.
“Such unpredictability from the largest country, the most powerful economy in the world, is the subject of deep global concern,” he added.
Peskov’s comments come two weeks ahead of a slated face-to-face between President Donald Trump and Putin at a G20 summit in Argentina.
Relations between the two countries have hit new lows with American officials planning to roll out fresh sanctions against Moscow in response to the botched poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Britain.
Western governments have accused Russia of being behind the plot which saw Skripal and his daughter poisoned with a nerve agent. Two British citizens were also poisoned, one of whom died.
Moscow has denied being behind the brazen hit and has condemned efforts to sanction it over the incident.
“We do not recognize these unilateral restrictions... and we consider them illegitimate,” Peskov said of the threatened sanctions, adding they would only “further complicate” Russia-US relations.
World leaders are currently meeting in Singapore, which is hosting the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.
Trump is not at the gathering and has sent Vice President Mike Pence instead.
Peskov said “no separate meeting” was currently planned between Putin and Pence. But he added that there was no need for a face-to-face given Trump and Putin will soon meet in Buenos Aires.