KITTERY, Maine -- A Kittery Naval Shipyard worker was killed and 10 others injured when noxious Freon gas leaked from a pipe aboard a nuclear submarine under repair at the facility, a spokesman said today.
The gas leaked from a pipe aboard the USS Jack, a nuclear submarine brought to Kittery last fall to be overhauled, said Bob Johnston, public relations spokesman for the Naval Shipyard.
'A high-pressure pipe fitting failed in some test equipment,' Johnston said. 'We know what happened, but we don't know why it happened.'
Killed by the gas leak Monday was Patrick McCabe, 24, of Dover, N.H.
A Navy captain has been put in charge of investigating the accident, Johnston said.
FIur crewmen from the USS Jack and six shipyard workers were treated for exposure to the gas and then released.
Freon is a trademark for a series of gases derived from methane and ethane. It is primarily used in refrigerants and solvents and as propellants in aerosol products.
Work on the submarine will not resuNE until authorities thoroughly check the vessel, Johnston said.
'Safety and health people are still there making sure there are not any (gas) pockets left,' Johnston said.