An international rescue mission has been launched in response to a major submarine disaster in the Kursak region of the Russian Arctic.
Kursk was hit by a Russian-designed ballistic missile on Saturday that broke apart and sank a fishing boat off the coast of the island city of Kurs.
At least 50 people were killed and several hundred others were injured in the attack, which happened when the submarine struck the K-8 fishing boat.
The boat was carrying Russian fishermen when the missile struck it, killing several crew members.
The Russian defence ministry said the ship was struck by a high-explosive projectile.
The Kursuk rescue mission was launched by the Russian Emergencies Ministry, a joint mission of the government of Russia, Russia’s Emergencies and other state bodies.
Russia’s Emergency Ministry is responsible for emergency situations and the disaster response.
The Emergencies ministry said it would conduct its own rescue operation.
The Ministry of Defense, in a statement, said it was a “terrible tragedy” and that it was necessary to use all available means.
“The crew of the KURSSK were very lucky and were saved by the rescue operation and the rescue vessel, the Russian Navy’s R-7,” the ministry said.
The Navy was called to the scene after the vessel hit the fishing boat, which was fishing in the area when it was struck.
The ship was reportedly carrying five crew members including four Russians, including a captain.
The navy said it had received a distress call from a Russian civilian, who had reportedly lost his boat in the incident.
“He told us that he and his family were lost,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a press statement.
“On arrival, we located them and rescued them.”
It was not immediately clear how many people were aboard the vessel, but officials said the crew had left the vessel by the time the rescue mission arrived.
The Investigative Committee, the investigative arm of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), said it planned to investigate the incident as a potential war crime.