On the morning of August 12, 2000, the mighty Russian nuclear-powered submarine Kursk is sailing through the Barents Sea as part of a large-scale naval exercise. On the vessel, submariners are loading a dummy torpedo – one with a propulsion system but no warhead – into one of the Kursk’s launching tubes. And what happens next shocks not only the Russian nation, but also the whole world – although the true scale of the horror wouldn’t be unveiled until much later.

For some reason, that dummy torpedo – even though it lacked a warhead – exploded at 11:27 a.m. This blast then ignited an intense fire in the forward bulkhead where the torpedo tubes were located, with the blaze likely killing the seven Russian sailors in that section almost instantaneously.

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