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The BBC's Orla Guerin, in Moscow
"Foreign experts believe there was an explosion on board"
 real 56k

Monday, 30 October, 2000, 07:49 GMT
Divers recover more Kursk bodies
 Diving platform above the Kursk
Winter weather has hindered the recovery mission
Divers have recovered eight more bodies from the wreck of the sunken Kursk nuclear submarine, according to a spokesman for the Russian Northern Fleet.

Storm conditions in the Barents Sea, which had been hampering the recovery mission, eased over the weekend allowing divers to return to the wreck, 108 metres (335ft) beneath the surface.

map
Further holes have been cut in the Kursk's stern section giving better access to the ninth compartment, from where the bodies of Lieutenant Dmitri Kolesnikov and three other men were recovered last week.

A note written by Lieutenant Kolesnikov revealed that he and 22 other men had survived the twin blasts which tore through the Kursk's forward sections and survived for a short while afterwards in the stern.

Click here for a graphic of Kursk recovery mission

On Sunday, senior Russian ministers led tributes to the crew of the Kursk at a memorial service attended by thousands of people in the northern port of Severomorsk.

The 118 men who died on the Kursk were described at the service as the best crew in the Russian fleet.

Poignant ceremony

During the ceremony, one father proudly remembered his lost son, who he said had dreamed of going to sea since he was a small boy.

Mourners
Mourners gathered to remember the 118 crew
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov promised to find out the cause of the explosions, and told the crew's relatives that they would be the first to know.

"The sailors who served on the missile carrier Kursk voluntarily tied their lives to the sea," said Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev in the service, which was broadcast on Russian TV.

The revelation that some men survived the initial explosions has prompted renewed grief and anger in Russia, as it contradicts official statements in the wake of the disaster that the Kursk's crew died almost instantly.

Injuries to some of the bodies so far brought to the surface suggest a serious fire swept through the Kursk, and that crew members were pelted with flying debris during the blasts.

It is still not clear what caused the explosions.



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27 Oct 00 | Media reports
Russia laments Kursk tragedy
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