(CBS NEWS) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday confirmed reports that the navy's deep-sea submersible vessel that caught fire on Monday, killing 14 seamen, was nuclear-powered. Russian officials previously declined to release any details of the vessel, citing its secret mission.
Putin met Thursday with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who had returned from the Navy's Arctic base of Severomorsk, and asked him about the submersible's nuclear reactor. Shoigu said the reactor is "completely isolated now" and it is "in full working order."
The blaze erupted at the vessel's battery compartment and spread, Shoigu said in televised remarks. The Defense Ministry earlier said 14 people have been killed and that there was an undisclosed number of survivors.
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