Report: Russia leases sub involved in deadly 2008 accident to Indian navy, trains new crew

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian nuclear-powered submarine involved in a deadly accident in 2008 has set sail on its way to train its future Indian navy crew, a Russia news agency said Friday.

The Nerpa submarine, now manned by a joint Russian-Indian crew, will be leased by India from later this year, RIA Novosti reported. Earlier Friday the agency had said the Nerpa had sailed to India, but later corrected the report to say it was on its way.

Russia's Defense Ministry refused to comment on the report.

During sea trials in 2008, the sub was involved in an accident that killed 20 Russian seamen and injured 21 others when its fire-extinguishing system activated in error and spewed suffocating Freon gas.

Russian officials have blamed human error, but details of the official investigation have been kept under wraps. It was the Russian navy's worst accident since the Kursk nuclear submarine sank in 2000, killing all 118 seamen aboard.

Russia has been a top weapons supplier to India since the Soviet times.