Suspect in Russia's Nerpa nuke sub accident to undergo psycho tests

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Moscow, Nov 20 (UNI) The sailor alleged to have caused the accident onboard the Akula II Class Nerpa attack nuclear submarine will undergo psychological testing.

''The suspect's psychological examination is prescribed by law,'' the spokesman for the Investigation Committee told RIA Novosti today.

''I cannot say how long it will take or where it will take place,'' he said, adding that a technical examination of the submarine and its systems would take at least a month.

The accident occurred on November 8 while the Nerpa was undergoing sea trials in the Sea of Japan. Three submariners and 17 shipyard workers died in the accident.

Submariner Dmitry Grobov is suspected of causing the accident.

He could face up to seven years in prison if found guilty of triggering the fire suppression system without permission.

A technical specialist on the Nerpa, Ensign Yevgeny Ovsyannikov told Komsomolskaya Pravda yesterday that the tragedy could have been caused by a computer glitch, not a crew member.

The accident is the Russian Navy's worst since the sinking of the Kursk nuclear submarine in 2000, taking the lives of all 118 onboard.

UNI XC SKB AS1603

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