30 October 2018 | Will Stewart | Mail Online
A scientist accused of attempted murder in Antarctica plunged a kitchen knife into his colleague because ‘he was fed up with the man telling him the endings of books’ he was reading from the research station library.
This is the reason given by scientific engineer Sergey Savitsky, 55, for his fury at welder Oleg Beloguzov, 52, says a Russian report.
It is believed to the first time that a man has been charged with the crime on the world’s loneliest continent.
The men had previously spent four harsh years at Russia’s isolated Bellingshausen station on King George Island, part of the South Shetland island group.
Russian investigators are probing a version of the alleged crime that both men were avid readers to pass the lonely hours in the Antarctic station.
But Savitsky had become angered that Beloguzov ‘kept telling his colleague the endings of books before he read them’.
Victim Beloguzov, 52, pictured above in Antarctica, suffered a knife injury to the chest
The wounded man was evacuated to Chile with a knife injury to the chest. His heart was injured in the attack and he was admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital. His life is not in danger, it is understood.
The head of the Bellingshausen detained Savitsky and he was deported to St Petersburg in Russia on the same day where he was immediately arrested and a criminal probe launched.
He is now under house arrest. Witness statements have been taken and are currently being examined by the Russian Investigative Committee in St Petersburg.
An inside view of the common area at Bellingshausen Station where both men would have spent time together before Savitsky was accused of stabbing Beloguzov in the chest
The entrance to Bellingshausen Station in Antarctica where both men lived and worked
Savitsky has expressed remorse over the attack in the station’s canteen. Reports say the altercation was fuelled by alcohol and the outpost’s tiny living space.
Workers at the station have access to two Russian TV channels, sporting facilities, and a library.
‘They are both professional scientists who have been working in our expeditions, spending a year long seasons at the station,’ Alexander Klepikov, deputy director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, told Komsomolskaya Pravda.
‘It is down to investigators to figure out what sparked the conflict, but both men are members of our team.’
Sergey Savitsky (left) and Oleg Beloguzov (right) at the Bellingshausen Station in Antarctica
Bellingshausen Station in Antarctica, where Savitsky is accused of stabbing Beloguzov
A criminal probe was launched and Savitsky admitted to stabbing his colleague but claimed he did not intend to kill him, reported Nevskie Novosti citing law enforcement sources.
The station was set up in 1968 by a Soviet Antarctic expedition. It is one of the few locations on the continent with a tundra rather than ice cap climate – so is seen as relatively mild.
It is also the site of a permanently staffed Orthodox church. The station is named after 19th century Russian explorer Fabian von Bellingshausen.