High Seas Disaster

Strikes a Soviet Sub An advanced prototype burns and sinks, stirring nuclear fears

Far below the surface of the chilly Norwegian Sea, perhaps as deep as 2,000 ft., the submarine was running quietly and swiftly. With its tough titanium hull and liquid-metal-cooled nuclear reactors, the 361-ft. Mike-class vessel was one of the deepest-diving and fastest-running attack subs in Moscow's fleet. Then, late one morning last week, a submariner's worst nightmare became reality: fire broke out. The sub managed to reach the surface about 320 miles off the northern coast of Norway. As it wallowed, many of the 95 crew members rushed to life rafts and paddled away. A small flotilla of Soviet vessels sped...

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