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Breaking News

Russian Submarine Accident: Moscow Contacts NATO About Rescue Capabilities

Aired August 15, 2000 - 3:00 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: CNN has now received word that the Russian government has contacted NATO about the alliance's capabilities in the area of submarine rescue. From what we have learned, the Russians have not made an official request for help in saving the crew of the stranded sub Kursk.

Let's check in with Moscow now and CNN's Mike Hanna for the latest on the rescue effort -- Mike.

MIKE HANNA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, a group of Russian generals are on their way to Brussels for negotiation, for discussion with NATO officials. However, the rescue attempts are continuing in the Barents Sea.

The head of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, says that the attempts are continuing to attach an escape capsule to the hull of the submarine to allow the crewmen inside to pass into the capsule and be transported to the surface. However, it does appears that they are experiencing difficulty with attaching the escape pod to the hull of the submarine. And the admiral says that if this fails, then they're going to have to look into using some kind of flotation device to bring the entire submarine up towards the surface.

So rescue operations continuing. No sign yet that there has been any success or that the technique of using the escape pod is working. But as the admiral of the Russian Navy says, other methods will be tried if this one fails.

Mike Hanna, CNN, reporting live from Moscow.

ALLEN: And we will continue to provide developments of this ongoing story.

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