The Russian Defence Ministry denied on Tuesday media reports that it had allegedly notified the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority about a "gas explosion on board a deep-water submersible".
“Thanks to the courageous actions of the crew, the fire on board the deep-water submersible was extinguished [...] No notification has been sent to the Norwegian side concerning the Russian deep-water research vessel", the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry reported earlier in the day that a fire broke out on Monday on board a deep-water research submersible designed to conduct scientific studies in the interests of the Russian Navy. Fourteen submariners died as a result of poisoning by combustion gas. An investigation into the accident has been launched.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier extended condolences to the families of 14 submariners killed in the fire and ordered that they be provided with every possible form of help and assistance.
"I extend my sincerest condolences to the families of the deceased. [...] We must do everything possible to provide [them with] help and assistance", Putin said at a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also expressed condolences to the victims' loved ones, spokesman Oleg Osipov said.
Putin ordered Shoigu to travel to the Severomorsk naval base, where the submersible has been docked after the fire, and personally hear reports on the causes of the deadly incident.