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Russian Nuclear Submarine Catches Fire at Severodvinsk Shipyard

Russian Nuclear Submarine Catches Fire 0:33

MOSCOW — A nuclear submarine caught fire in a shipyard in Russia on Tuesday, officials told NBC News.

The Oscar II-class submarine, named the Orel, caught fire during welding work in the shipyard in the city of Severodvinsk, Russia's state-run United Shipbuilding Corporation confirmed.

USC, which owns the Zvyozdochka shipyard in the northern province of Arkhangelsk, told NBC News that no one was injured and that the vessel's nuclear reactor had been shut down beforehand.

"Everyone was promptly evacuated," USC spokesman Ilya Zhitomirsky said, adding that most of the fire had been extinguished by 4:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. ET). "Basically, it's just rubber burning."

At its peak the fire measured more than 20 square yards, Zhitomirsky confirmed. The fire involved rubber insulation between the submarine's light and pressure hull.

The Orel is the same class as the Kursk, the submarine that sank in the Barents Sea in August 2000. All 118 people aboard died.

Severodvinsk is around 600 miles north of Moscow. It sits on the White Sea that separates Russia and Finland.

- Alexey Eremenko and Alexander Smith

Alexander Smith reported from London.