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Engineer was concerned about O2 generators -- HMS Tireless

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Engineer was concerned about O2 generators -- HMS Tireless

Postby U-5075 » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:38 am ...

Engineer concerned over condition of submarine's generators

13 February 2009
By Travor Hoyland

Oxygen generators, of the type which exploded killing two crew members, had been a cause of concern on the submarine HMS Tireless.
Anthony Huntrod, 20, of Town End Farm, and Paul McCann, 32, from the West Midlands, died when a self-contained oxygen generator – known as a Scog – blew up on board the nuclear sub on March 20, 2007.

Sailors battled for more than 40 minutes to reach the two mechanics via a hatch which had been buckled by the blast but they were unable to save them.

Anthony died from multiple injuries and Paul from carbon monoxide poisoning.

An engineer on board the submarine told an inquest that he had complained about the poor condition of some of the oxygen generators but nothing had been done.

On the third day of an inquest that is expected to last six weeks, engineer Chief Petty Officer Steven Petty said the Scogs were visually checked but, despite this, there were problems with the devices being dented or corroded.

"We had a few difficulties with misfires. It had happened on a few occasions."

He said he made it known that they weren't happy with some of the Scog misfires but there had been no feedback.

He had seen Scogs in such a condition that he would not use them, but they just went back with the rest.

The hearing was told there was no procedure for marking or quarantining defective Scogs. He agreed that another crew member could have used one that he had rejected.

Mr Petty was questioned about the efforts made to break open the damaged hatch and the inquest was told that he had been praised for his efforts during the rescue attempt.

About 120 people were on board Tireless, which had been on a joint exercise with the U.S. Navy in international waters 200 miles north of Alaska under the Arctic ice cap, when the explosion occurred.

When he opened the inquest at the Regus Centre, Doxford International, on Tuesday, the Sunderland coroner, Derek Winter, said: "This was a traumatic and terrifying event for all aboard the submarine."

The inquest also heard harrowing details from a trapped crewman, stores accountant Richard Holleworth, of the horror which followed the explosion which killed the two submariners.

The hearing, which is being held without a jury, was told there had been seven incidents involving Scogs on the Trafalgar class sub between January 2006 and February 2007, including one fire.

An earlier Royal Navy board of inquiry said "systematic failings" probably caused the Scog explosion after it became contaminated with oil.
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