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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Norway Admits ‘Old’ Photo of Sub Might Be New

OSLO, Norway — The Norwegian military apologized Monday for giving wrong information about a U.S. submarine that a Russian newspaper suggested may have crashed with the doomed submarine Kursk in August.

On Sunday, the Norwegian Supreme Defense Command dismissed a photograph of the USS Memphis submarine in a Norwegian port as being at least four years old.

On Monday, the command said it had been wrong about the date. However, it insisted that the USS Memphis had nothing to do with the Aug. 12 accident, in which the Kursk sank in the Barents Sea, killing all 118 crew aboard.

Russian officials have not determined what caused powerful explosions that sank the nuclear submarine but say the disaster could have been caused by collision with a foreign submarine, a World War II mine or an internal malfunction.

The United States had submarines shadowing the Russian naval exercises but denied they came anywhere close to the Kursk. British and Norwegian officials also have denied any collision.

The USS Memphis was at the Haakonsvern Naval Base from Aug. 18 to 26 in what was announced as a routine, planned call.

"There was no damage registered to the vessel, and no repairs of any kind were carried out during the visit to Norway," according to a military statement.

The satellite photograph published in Versia’s Oct. 31 edition shows a submarine at the Norwegian base.

The weekly newspaper said the photograph appeared to show repairs being made to the USS Memphis shortly after the Kursk accident, although it was hard for a lay reader to draw any conclusion one way or another.

The Norwegian Supreme Defense Command told the Oslo newspaper Aftenposten that the photograph was at least four years old because water shown had been filled in with rock and stone in 1996.

The military said Monday that was wrong and was now trying to determine the correct date of the photograph.

Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov claimed Sunday that sounds initially called distress signals from the crew of the Kursk instead came from a different vessel in the area.

He suggested the vessel may have been making the signals after colliding with the Kursk.

"I personally heard the recordings," Klebanov said Sunday on the "Vremena" talk show on ORT television. But after more study, "we determined that it was a mechanical sound, not the sound of a person. And we confirmed that there was no such device capable of making that sound on the Kursk."

Others have said the sounds could have been caused by collapsing equipment or the submarine settling into the seabed.