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Russian Submarine Accident: No Survivors Found on Kursk; Rescue Called OffAired August 21, 2000 - 7:00 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Overnight, Norwegian divers opened a hatch on that sunken Russian submarine. Less than 90 minutes ago, divers got inside the back half of the sub at the bottom of the Barents Sea, and they report that section is flooded. That dashes all hopes of finding any survivors on board.
Let's go now live to CNN Moscow bureau chief Jill Dougherty for the latest -- Jill.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Leon, 10 days after that submarine Kursk sank in a terrible explosion, the rescuers have determined that their rescue operation is over. The word came from the Norwegian armed forces who are helping in that operation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. COL. JOHN ESPEN LIEN, DEFENSE COMMAND, N. NORWAY: We have taken the conclusion that there's no chance for survivors inside the submarine. This has also been discussed by commander of armed forces, North Norway, which is conducting the international part of the rescue operation, and the chief of Northern Fleet, Admiral Popov. They agree that it's time to terminate the rescue operation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOUGHERTY: Russian and international crews worked round the clock for eight days straight trying to get to any of the men of the 118 men who might be aboard and still alive. Norwegian divers today did make it into the back escape hatch, but they found it completely flooded and determined that no one could have survived up until this point.
So now what they're doing is they're lowering video cameras into the hull of that vessel, the submarine, taking a look, seeing what is in there. And they do report -- there was concern, of course, about the two atomic reactors that powered the submarines, that they say indications are there is no leakage -- Leon.
HARRIS: Well, Jill, that -- now that they've reached this point, what next in this rescue operation, or whatever it's going to be called from here on out?
DOUGHERTY: Well, it's up to the Russians now to decide what they want to do. But the original plan was that if it reached this point, that they would probably try to raise that submarine eventually, bring it too the surface, and then try a salvage operation. They do have some other plans, Leon, maybe bringing it to a more shallow area. But they have to determine, at this point, precisely how to go ahead. Obviously any hope for anyone being alive at this point is dashed.
HARRIS: All right, thanks much bureau chief Jill Dougherty, reporting live this morning from Moscow.
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