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DATE=8/20/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIAN SUB 2ND UPD (L) NUMBER=2-265667 BYLINE=LAURIE KASSMAN DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Russian T-V reported Sunday that divers suspect a crew member of the damaged Russian submarine Kursk may be trapped in the air lock inside the rear escape hatch. A Norwegian diving team also has confirmed damage to the rear escape hatch of the Kursk, which has been lying for days at the bottom of the Barents Sea. Correspondent Laurie Kassman brings us up to date from Moscow. TEXT: Russian state T-V says that Norwegian divers checking on the condition of the escape hatch believe there may be a man trapped inside the transition chamber. But they do not know if he is dead or alive. On Saturday the chief of staff of the Northern Fleet said it was unlikely there are any survivors among the 118 sailors on board the Kursk nuclear submarine more than one week after it plunged to the bottom of the sea. The Norwegian diving team is also trying to unscrew the bolts of the outside hatch to get into the air lock and check meters there that would indicate the air pressure inside the vessel. Pictures from a remote surveillance camera show a severe crack in the hatch that has prevented Russian submersibles from latching onto it. Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov, who is in charge of the rescue operation, told state T-V he does not think a British mini-submarine will fare any better. Britain dispatched the mini-submarine to the accident site after Russian President Vladimir Putin finally accepted foreign offers of help last Wednesday, four days after the accident. Twelve Norwegian divers, working in relays of three, are also tapping along the sides of the hull of the Kursk, to find out which, if any, of the submarine's compartments might still have some air left. State T-V says the rescue team suspects two or three of the rear sections may not yet be flooded. Earlier Sunday, anxious relatives of the crew attended church services in the port city of Murmansk. Many had arrived there after two days travel by train from far- off villages, angry over what they see as the government's slow response to the disaster. President Vladimir Putin now says the rescue operation will continue to the last moment even as hopes fade of finding anyone alive. (Signed) NEB/KS/DW/KL 20-Aug-2000 11:37 AM EDT (20-Aug-2000 1537 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .