Why No One Escaped from the Kursk

Could some of the 118 Russian sailors who died in the August 2000 Kursk submarine disaster have been saved? A high-level Russian source tells TIME they could have been if rescue gear aboard the ship had ever been tested. After an explosion in the ship's torpedo room ripped open the hull, 23 surviving crewmen rushed to a floating rescue capsule located in the rear of the submarine. But the capsule failed to disengage and surface. Russian investigators looking into the disaster have been vague about the reasons for the failure. But TIME's source says that "on orders from the very top,"...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!