Even after extinguishing the fire, the soldiers died from smoke inhalation. Authorities have launched an investigation "to establish the cause of the incident."
The Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday said 14 people on board one of its deep-sea submarines were killed when a fire broke out.
"On July 1, a fire broke out during bathymetric measurements on a scientific research deep-sea submersible," the Defense Ministry said in comments carried by state media. "Work is underway to establish the cause of the incident."
The vessel was recovered and taken to the Russian Northern Fleet's base in Severomorsk on the Barents Sea, which is located off the northern coasts of Russia and Norway.
The crew managed to extinguish the fire but died of smoke inhalation, according to the Defense Ministry. Authorities did not identify the type of vessel, but Russian media said it was a nuclear-powered submarine, citing military sources.
The incident is reminiscent of a deadly explosion that sank Russia's nuclear-powered submarine Kursk in 2000, killing all 118 men on board the vessel.
It is the deadliest incident on a Russian submarine since 2008. That year, 20 people were killed on a Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine when its fire extinguishing system was triggered. The victims succumbed to asphyxiation and frostbite in their lungs.
ls/amp (Reuters, AFP, AP)