The crew of K-19and K-19 itself, under tow by the Soviet ship Aldan since
July 7 or 8arrived in Polyarnyy, near Murmansk, on July 9 and 10.
Within days eight veterans of K-19s inaugural mission died of radiation poisoning.
Fourteen more died within two years. The remaining 117 suffered varying degrees of radiation-related
An investigation of the incident cleared the crew and Captain Zateyev of any wrongdoing. Some crew members were decorated for their actions, but because the accident was a state secret, the reasons for the decorations were vague. Many heroic crew members were never honored.
Surviving crewmen remembered an admiral belittling their awards. The admiral, it seemed, thought they were undeserved, stemming as they did from an accident. In Leningrad, he supposedly said, we have streetcar accidents all the time.