A civilian was first evacuated from a Russian Navy submersible's burning compartment, a hatch was then closed to prevent the fire from spreading, "they were fighting for the survivability of the ship till the end", Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu stated at a meeting intended to investigate the causes of a fire aboard a deep-water research apparatus in the Barents Sea adding that "in a critical situation, the submariners acted heroically".
He added that "at the cost of their lives they fulfilled a difficult task; they eliminated the centre of ignition, saved their comrades and the deep-water apparatus".
"All fallen officers will be posthumously awarded with state honours", the minister emphasised.
The minister continued by saying that all the Russian submariners who were on board the deep-sea research submersible that caught fire on 1 July were "unique military experts, high-class military experts" conducting important surveys of the Earth's hydrosphere.
The Russian Defenсe Ministry will provide all required assistance and support to the families of the submariners who died in the fire on the Russian deep-sea submersible, Defenсe Minister Sergei Shoigu stressed.
Shoigu arrived in Severomorsk earlier on 3 July to hold a meeting with the commission responsible for finding the reasons behind the deadly fire. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the fire broke out on the submersible, which has now been towed to the Severomorsk naval base in the north of Russia, on 1 July, killing 14 submariners, who were poisoned with combustion gas. The rest of the crew was rescued.