By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis is informed of the tragedy that killed fourteen Russian sailors on board a deep water research submarine and is grieving for the victims.
Answering questions put to him by journalists, Alessandro Gisotti, the interim director of the Holy See Press Office, said the Pope has expressed his condolences and closeness to the families of the victims and to all who have been affected by the disaster.
A fire aboard a Russian navy research submarine on Monday reportedly caused fumes that poisoned the crew members of the vessel as it was taking measurements in Russian waters in the north of the country.
The ministry gave no details about the type of vessel. But Russian media reports say it was a nuclear mini-submarine used for special operations.
President Vladimir Putin, who is scheduled to be received in audience by Pope Francis in the Vatican on Thursday, has ordered an inquiry into the accident.
The defense ministry meanwhile, revealed on Wednesday that some crew members have survived.