When the recovery team approached the sealed reentry capsule, it too seemed fine. From the outside, the landing had gone off without a hitch. When the recovery team knocked on the exit hatch, however, no crew member responded. Finally, they opened the hatch themselves.
“On opening the hatch,” reported Russian official Kerim Kerimov in Space Safety Magazine, “they found all three men in their [seats], motionless, with dark-blue patches on their faces and trails of blood from their noses and ears.”
Rescue units rushed to save the three cosmonauts. They removed the men from the reentry capsule, laid them out on the ground, and administered CPR on the still-warm body of Commander Dobrovolsky. It was no use, though. The three men were dead. How did this happen?