Naval experts Tuesday studied the logs from a Soviet nuclear submarine that the defense ministry said may have sustained cracks to its hull as it sank off the Norwegian coast with two nuclear-armed torpedoes aboard.

Defense Minister Dmitri Yazov told the official Izvestia newspaper Monday that a preliminary investigation showed the fire that caused the sub to sink in the Norwegian Sea last Friday appeared to have been caused by an electrical short circuit. Officials said 42 sailors died in the accident.But Yazov repeated assurances given earlier Monday by government spokesman Gennady Gerasimov that there was no danger of radioactive contamination.

The defense minister said the bodies of 19 crew members had been recovered, but did not say whether the deaths were caused by the fire or drowning - only that two of the victims died of exposure.