Russia’s sole aircraft carrier catches fire

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MOSCOW (AP) — A fire broke out onboard Russia’s sole aircraft carrier on Thursday, Russian state media reported.

The Admiral Kuznetsov, a flagship of the Russian Navy, suffered a “minor” fire while undergoing repair work at a shipyard in the Arctic port of Murmansk, according to reports by the Russian state Tass and RIA Novosti news agencies. Both cited Aleksey Rakhmanov, head of the state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) which is overseeing a major refit of the carrier, as saying that the blaze was quickly extinguished and caused no casualties.

Delays and accidents have marred the Admiral Kuznetsov’s ongoing overhaul, which began in 2017 and was initially set to conclude last year. At least one person was killed and 12 others were injured after a fire broke out in December 2019. The previous year, a crane crashed onto its deck after a floating dock holding it began to sink, causing unspecified damage.

Rakhmanov told Russian media in June that he expected the Admiral Kuznetsov to return to service in early 2024, almost three years behind schedule.

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