June 19, 2008

Sailors on Chicoutimi Exposed to ‘Toxic Soup’ of Chemicals: Navy


HALIFAX - The Canadian navy says sailors aboard HMCS Chicoutimi were exposed to a toxic cocktail of chemicals during a fire aboard the used submarine in 2004.

Four years after the lethal fire, military officials now say the 55-member crew breathed in carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and other chemical irritants.

Cmdr. Jeff Agnew says the crew and their families were told of the findings at a briefing in Halifax on Wednesday night.

He says they were told that a known carcinogen, Peridite, was found to have burned when water flooded into the sub, starting an electrical fire in the commanding officer's cabin.

Three crew members were later airlifted to a hospital, where Lt. Chris Saunders of Halifax later died.

The sub was en route to Halifax from Faslane, Scotland, on Oct. 4, 2004, when the fire broke out.