Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Colleagues Fought to Reach Dead Submariners; Wearside Seaman Killed in Blast 150m under Ice

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Colleagues Fought to Reach Dead Submariners; Wearside Seaman Killed in Blast 150m under Ice

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Warburton

SUBMARINERS fought for more than 40 minutes to free a Wearside seaman after an explosion in their vessel, an inquest heard.

Operator Mechanic Anthony Huntrod, 20, was trapped more than 150m below a thick crust of ice following the blast on the HMS Tireless at around 8pm on March 21 2007.

The eruption cut off his escape route when it buckled doors during the training exercise 200 miles off Alaska.

Mr Huntrod died alongside Leading Mechanic Operator Paul McCann, 32, from the West Midlands, on the fourth deck of the vessel in the forward escape compartment.

And yesterday, on the opening day of a six-week inquest, Coroner Derek Winter said the blast happened after one of the vessel's self-contained oxygen generators (SCOG) exploded.

Mr Winter said: "This was a traumatic and terrifying event for all aboard the submarine. The evidence is that they worked very hard to gain access, however it took 40 minutes to break open the doors."

The inquest was told the explosion caused a shockwave and sent clouds of smoke through the vessel, reducing visibility to less than a metre.

Able Seaman Barry Taylor had been helping Mr McCann and Mr Huntrod take Scogs from a potato storage room minutes before the blast.

More than an hour after the explosion, Mr Taylor was sent back into the damaged compartment to clean up. Inside he found pools of blood and shrapnel littering the floor.

He told the inquest: "There was a loud explosion and the boat was filled with smoke straight away.

There was a shockwave which pushed me into the toilet."

Post-mortems later revealed Mr Huntrod died from multiple injuries, while Mr McCann's cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning.

Following the blast, Nasa tests showed Scogs could be dangerous if not stored carefully and kept in perfect condition.

More than one-fifth of the oxygen generators were later found to be defective on Tireless, a Royal Navy investigator told the inquest.

Lieutenant Andy Billings said 21% of the unused Scogs were damaged or had defective seals. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.