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Two sailors die on UK nuclear sub

Arctic accident aboard HMS Tireless

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Two sailors were killed this morning in an accident on nuclear submarine HMS Tireless, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed.

HMS Tireless on surface following the accident. Photo: MoDThe Trafalgar-class attack submarine (seen here on the surface following the accident) was submerged on a joint UK-US exercise in the Arctic when the incident occurred. It did not involve the vessel's nuclear reactor and the MoD stressed HMS Tireless does not carry Trident nuclear missiles.

The MoD release explains: "Tireless was launched in 1985, but the piece of air-purification machinery thought to have failed was fitted as part of an update in 2001. The piece of equipment which malfunctioned is fitted to all Trafalgar Class submarines. It has a very good safety record but, as a precaution, its use on other boats has been restricted until safety checks can be carried out. It is not essential to the safe running of the submarine. A piece of air-purification equipment in the forward section of the submarine was thought to be responsible".

One other crew member was injured in the accident. The MoD adds: "He was airlifted to a US military hospital, where he remains. His injuries are not life-threatening and he is expected to make a full recovery."

The next of kin of the dead men have been informed. ®

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