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Sunken Russian Sub: Dive Team Enters SubAired August 21, 2000 - 5:48 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LINDA STOUFFER, CNN ANCHOR: We have some breaking news for you now, developments on that sunken nuclear Russian sub. We take you straight to Mike Hanna and Moscow for the latest on this -- Mike.
MIKE HANNA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Linda, a series of developments in the course of the morning here in Moscow. Norwegian divers managed to remove the rear escape hatch on the submarine Kursk and enter the escape compartment underneath. In recent hours, they have been attempting to open and enter the hatch which leads directly into the submarine. This, we have been told by the Navy Press Service in the last few minutes, has been completed.
The escape hatch has been opened. Although, we are told, only partially. But what has been discovered is that -- that compartment underneath the internal hatch is flooded with water.
The significance of this, we were told by a Norwegian armed services spokesman, about an hour ago, that if this chamber was full found to be full with water, than the rescue operation is over.
So the slim hopes that had been held out that some survivors could still be aboard the submarine Kursk now, in the last few minutes, appear to have been completely dashed.
The rescuers, who won't -- were rescuers have managed to gain access to the submarine into the hull proper, although they have not managed to fully open that second hatch on the inside of the submarine yet, but it has been shown, what they have discovered so far. The submarine is full with water. Any hope that there are any survivors appears to have been finally dashed -- Linda.
STOUFFER: Mike, now that divers have been able to get a closer look at the sub, are we any closer to understanding why it went down in the first place?
HANNA: Well, the dive team has been concentrating on getting access via the rear of the submarine in that attempt to discover once and for all whether anybody is alive or dead. The accidents, we are told by the Russian earlier, the front of the submarine was utterly destroyed in the whatever caused the explosion on board. The divers have not been looking at causes of the accidents at this particular point. They been looking at ways of getting inside the submarine.
But, if this is correct, all of these suppositions that there are no survivors, than the focus of this operation is going to change, firstly, to one of salvage; and, secondly, to continue with efforts to establish exactly why the submarine Kursk went down, exactly why 118 people died at the bottom sea -- Linda.
STOUFFER: Mike Hanna, thank you very much, live in Moscow with the latest on the Russian nuclear sub. It looks as if, as he mentioned, that there is no hope that any of the 118 crew members on that sub survived. It looks if the interior is flooded with water.
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