Russian warship crashes off coast of Turkey after hitting cargo freighter

Russian warship crashes off coast of Turkey after hitting cargo freighter

A Russian warship has crashed (Stock image)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Russian warship has crashed in thick fog off the coast of Turkey.

The ship collided with a cargo vessel, reportedly carrying livestock, in the Black Sea off the coast of Istanbul. The cargo vessel carried a Togolese flag.

The Russian ship, called Liman, was holed below the water line in the collision and is now sinking despite attempts to keep it afloat, the Russian defence ministry has confirmed.

The ship is a military craft which has been converted into a reconnaissance vessel.

The Turkish coastguard says all 78 people on the Russian ship had been rescued after helicopters and boats were dispatched to the scene. Initial reports suggested 15 people were missing.

A spokesman for the Russian Black Sea fleet, quoted by Interfax, has said the crew followed all relevant rules and procedures and blamed the cargo ship for causing the accident. 

Former fleet commando Adm Viktor Kravchenko told Interfax that the event was "out of the ordinary." He continued: "There have been collisions but I do not remember a case like this, of a vessel, a warship sinking after it."

Turkey's Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, has called his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, to express his sadness at today's events.

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