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DATE=8/15/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIAN SUB / L NUMBER=2-265478 BYLINE=BILL GASPARINI DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Bad weather is hindering efforts to rescue 116 Russian sailors trapped aboard a crippled nuclear submarine in the Russian Arctic. The submarine is lying on the ocean floor after it lost power in some kind of an accident. Bill Gasparini has the latest from Moscow. TEXT: Russian Navy officials say that all 116 crewmembers on board the submarine are alive. However, they are not sure if any of the men are injured. Crewmembers have been tapping on the vessel's hull using coded signals. Current efforts center on attaching equipment to provide oxygen and restore electric power on the submarine, known as the "Kursk." High winds and strong ocean currents are hindering efforts to save the men on the "Kursk", which is now sitting on the floor of the Barents Sea. The plan is to try to evacuate the crew either in special rescue vehicles or through a large diving "bell" which would be attached to the submarine itself. Officials say they are hoping for a break in the weather. Even with better weather, experts say any evacuation will be risky. The Kursk was involved in some kind of accident on Sunday, which forced the vessel down to the ocean floor. Russia's senior Navy commander said Monday the submarine was involved in a collision with an unknown object. But, later, officials said there may have been an explosion on the vessel. Officials say there are no nuclear weapons on board the Kursk, and that its two nuclear reactors have been shut down. The sub has been in service for five years. It was taking part in a naval exercise when the accident occurred. The United States, Britain and Norway have all offered help in the rescue efforts. But, so far, the Russians have made no requests for outside assistance. (signed) Neb / bg / wd 15-Aug-2000 03:11 AM LOC (15-Aug-2000 0711 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .