HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, June 19 (UPI) -- The Canadian military told families of sailors aboard an ex-British submarine bound for Canada carcinogenic fumes were released in an electrical fire.
Wednesday night in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Department of Veterans Affairs told a public meeting the National Research Council had determined carcinogens were in the smoke and soot that disabled the HMCS Chicoutimi in the October 2004 fire in the Atlantic Ocean.
The diesel sub was en route to Halifax from Faslane, Scotland, with a crew with 56 aboard when an open hatch allowed a rogue wave to wash in and short-circuit electrical wiring, the Canwest News Service reported.
Lt. Chris Saunders, 32, died of smoke inhalation aboard a British military rescue helicopter, and several other Canadian sailors were injured by the smoke. The report given to sailors and families said long-term health risks would likely have been evident within hours or days after exposure, the news service said.
The Chicoutimi is one of four submarines Canada purchased form Britain, which is striving to make most of its fleet nuclear-powered.