Page last updated at 13:28 GMT, Monday, 1 August 2005 14:28 UK

Shipping gaffes hit St Petersburg

Irkutsk tanker
The Irkutsk tanker and a bridge were damaged in a collision

Russian sailors have had a bad weekend on the Neva River in St Petersburg, with two collisions and an accidental blast leaving three ships damaged.

First, an oil tanker slammed into a bridge in the former imperial capital, leaving the ship badly damaged and leaking a small amount of diesel.

Hours later, a flagship patrol boat was holed and nearly sunk by an explosive device on the eve of Navy Day.

Early on Monday a cargo ship crashed into another Neva bridge.

The collision with the Tuchkov Bridge in the city centre damaged the Nevsky-22 vessel's superstructure.

Earlier, local officials said there was no environmental risk from the diesel that had leaked from the tanker Irkutsk on Saturday - although the Troitskiy Bridge came off quite badly.


Damaged warship Neukrotimy
The Neukrotimy had been due to lead the Navy Day parade

However, there was a large amount of damaged pride after the incident involving the Baltic Fleet patrol ship Neukrotimy - the "Indomitable" - as it waited on the Neva River on the eve of Navy Day.

An explosive device, intended to be part of the naval show, blew up near the ship during the rehearsal and water suddenly poured into the engine compartment, Interfax news agency reported.

Divers found a hole in her hull below the waterline and patched it up for her to be moved to a dry dock for repairs.

Military investigators have opened a criminal case and are looking into a possible breach of rules of handling "objects posing a high danger", says Itar-Tass news agency.

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