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Missile accident raises new questions

March 13, 2004 at 6:49 PM

SEATTLE, March 13 (UPI) -- Lawmakers on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border want some answers about a nuclear missile mishap last November at the Bangor, Washington, submarine base.

The U.S. Navy denies there was an accident at the base but suggests there may have been an "incident," an explanation U.S. Representatives Norm Dicks and Jay Inslee, both Washington state Democrats, call doubletalk.

A member of Canada's national parliament from Vancouver East, Libby Davies, is also asking for information.

A Web site maintained by a former Navy lieutenant commander alleges that on Nov. 7 a missile being extracted from the USS Georgia nuclear submarine hit an access ladder left in the launch tube, poking a 9-inch hole in the nose cone, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Saturday.

Whatever happened apparently led to the firing of the entire leadership of the strategic weapons facility a month later, the newspaper said.

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