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Kursk submarine raised

The salvage ship Mayo and the Giant 4 barge in position over the Kursk
The salvage ship Mayo and the Giant 4 barge in position over the Kursk  

MOSCOW, Russia -- The wreck of the Kursk nuclear submarine has been successfully raised from the seabed.

Twenty-six steel cables attached from a Dutch-owned Giant 4 barge to the 18,000-ton vessel prised the wreckage out of the seabed mud on Monday morning.

The submarine will now be latched to the bottom of the barge for transport to a dry dock near Murmansk, Russia, where it will be examined.

According to Russian news agency Interfax, vessels that will accompany the barge and wrecked submarine are assuming their positions for the towing operation.

graphic Raising of the Kursk

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Interfax said the ships included two international and four Russian Northern Fleet towing ships, a Russian hydrographic vessel and the cruiser Pyotr Veliky.

The operation to raise the Kursk, which sank in August 2000 killing all 118 crew members, was carried out without any hitches as the Arctic weather remained calm.

A spokeswoman for the Dutch salvage company Mammoet confirmed the Kursk had risen from the ocean floor earlier on Monday.

The Russian navy and salvage workers say the Kursk's reactors have been safely shut down and did not threaten the lifting operation.

The Russian navy will also remove the remains of the crew and 22 Granit supersonic cruise missiles.

The salvage operation does not yet include the submarine's nose. This has been detached from the rest of the vessel by salvage crews and may be lifted next year.

Investigators believe that section, in which torpedoes were stored, may hold vital clues about the accident.

It had been planned to raise the Kursk on September 15, but the operation has been repeatedly delayed by storms and technical problems.

A Russian investigatory commission has not yet publicly announced the cause of the tragedy.

• Day of tears for Kursk victims
August 12, 2001
• Kursk operation enters final stage
October 7, 2001

• Kursk Operation
• The Government of the Russian Federation

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