Baikal Submarine Mission Delayed After Crash

Scientists suspended a mission to explore Lake Baikal on Wednesday after one of their submarines collided with a floating platform.

The accident took place after a day of confusion surrounding the Baikal mission, with organizers withdrawing their initial claim of having set a record for depth in freshwater diving in the world's biggest lake.

A storm sent one of the two submarines used in the mission crashing into a floating platform used as the mission's control center.

"The Mir-2 collided with the Metropolia platform ... during its descent into the water today at 12 p.m.," said Vladimir Strugatsky, one of the mission's organizers, RIA-Novosti reported.

Strugatsky said the submarine's engine was damaged, and the mission would be suspended for at least one day.

Mission organizers could not be immediately reached for comment.

Tuesday's dive, the focus of national media attention and regular live reports on state television, was originally hailed by Russian officials as a world record. The scientists said they discovered a point in Baikal deeper than the one visited by another Russian expedition several years earlier and thought to be the bottom of the lake.

But after the crews' return and champagne toasts on live television, dive organizers said there was no new record.

Organizers said exploration would continue this week but did not clarify when submersions would continue.