MOSCOW (AP) — An accident in the docks in Russia's north on Tuesday damaged the country's only aircraft carrier and left one person missing and four injured, officials said.
A floating dock sank early morning in Murmansk, dropping a crane on the deck of the Admiral Kuznetsov carrier, the United Shipbuilding Corporation said. The corporation's chief, Alexei Rakhmanov, insisted, however, that this did not cause serious damage.
"Obviously when a 70-ton crane crashes on the deck there could be damage," Rakhmanov said in comments carried by the Interfax news agency, but "preliminary reports show that the damage that the ship has suffered is not significant."
The cause of the accident was not immediately clear but Rakhmanov said it may have happened because of an unexpected power surge and a failure of backup generators.
The Admiral Kuznetsov carrier was launched in 1985 and has recently been dogged with technical problems. Two years ago, it was spotted belching black smoke as it was passing through the English Channel.
The carrier was docked in Murmansk for an upgrade and was due to move out of the docks when the incident occurred.
Four workers were injured and one is still believed to be missing, Murmansk governor Marina Kovtun said on state-owned Rossiya 24 television channel on Tuesday.
The Admiral Kuznetsov was previously used in the Mediterranean Sea to launch carrier-borne Russian combat missions on targets in Syria.