Two Russian sailors have died in a fire on board a nuclear submarine.
The blaze is reported to have been extinguished, and sources say there is no danger of a radiation leak.
The submarine’s nuclear reactor was shut down and the vessel was being towed across the Barents Sea to a base in Vidyayevo, reports said.
The Russian submarine fleet has been dogged by accidents. In 2000, the Kursk submarine sank in the Barents Sea, killing all 118 people on board.
Last year the crew of a Russian mini-submarine stranded on the bed of the Pacific had to be rescued by the British navy.
The Russian authorities have sometimes delayed disclosing the full extent of what has happened, says the BBC’s James Rodgers in Moscow.
Protection device ‘activated’
The submarine, the Daniil Moskovsky (St Daniel of Moscow), was anchored off the Rybachiy peninsula, on Russia’s north coast near the border with Finland, when the fire broke out.
Russian naval sources are quoted as saying that the device protecting the submarine’s nuclear reactor was activated, and that there is no danger of a radiation leak.
“The electric equipment of the submarine, which was in the Barents Sea, caught fire in the early hours of today,” a source in the Russian defence ministry said.
Interfax quoted an unnamed Northern Fleet spokesman as saying there was “no threat of nuclear contamination”.
A warrant officer and a sailor were killed, the agency said.
An investigation into the incident is to be carried out.