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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

3 Bodies Retrieved From Kursk

Navy forensic experts on Thursday began removing remains of the crew from the wreck of the Kursk nuclear submarine.

By Thursday evening, officials had removed three bodies from the sub's rear section and more bodies were seen, said Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov.

Water samples taken from inside the reactor's compartment confirm that there has been no radiation leak, said navy spokesman Captain Igor Dygalo. After the bodies are recovered, the next task would be to secure the Kursk's nuclear reactors and its 22 Granit cruise missiles.

Navy chief Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov said experts would enter the reactor's compartment later Thursday to check it and make sure that it was properly heated to keep it from freezing.

Kuroyedov said the silos containing the missiles apparently hadn't been damaged, allowing navy experts to remove the weapons in a normal fashion, Itar-Tass reported. The navy has dismissed allegations that the missiles could blast off by themselves, saying the lack of electric power on board excludes even a theoretical possibility of that.

Investigators led by Ustinov continued inspecting the disfigured Kursk, searching for clues to the cause of the disaster. Skeptics say, however, that if any clue could be found, it would be located in the submarine's mangled first compartment, which was left behind when the Kursk was raised.