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2 US Navy sailors injured in nuclear sub accident

The USS Louisiana (SSBN 743) Blue Crew Sailors return home to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ahron Arendes)
April 04, 2022

Two U.S. Navy personnel were injured on Saturday during routine testing of the USS Louisiana, a nuclear ballistic missile submarine docked at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Washington, the facility said on Sunday in a press release posted on Facebook.

Around noon local time, the sub located at Pier 3 “experienced a problem with the forward logistics escape trunk during testing, resulting in the rapid depressurization of the compartment.”

“The depressurization created a loud noise due to the escaping air and dislodged a scaffolding enclosure and other equipment,” the press release stated. “Routine compartment air tests are conducted to ensure equipment functions as designed. The boat’s nuclear propulsion space was not affected.”

Two Navy personnel suffered “non-life-threatening injuries” and were transported to a local medical facility before being released shortly after. Five other sailors were also assessed for injuries by Navy medical personnel, but did not require additional medical attention.

The Navy said the cause of the issues “will be fully investigated.”

The incident comes less than a month after two fatal accidents in the Navy and Marines.

Last week, one flight crew member was killed and two more were injured after a U.S. Navy E-2D Hawkeye crashed off the coast of Virginia.

Emergency responders said recovered two passengers at the scene in the water with injuries. Those two passengers were recovered via boat and transported to the hospital. At least one of the two passengers was reported to have broken legs.

The Navy announced a third crew member was found deceased in the crashed aircraft. Previous local reports indicated the crew member had been missing, but later indicated the individual was last seen on board the plane. The U.S. Navy confirmed in a statement that the crew member had in fact died at the crash site.

“Unfortunately, the third crew member was found deceased in the aircraft. The Worcester County Fire Department Dive Team supported the search and recovery of the deceased. The name of the crew member killed will not be released at this time, pending primary next of kin notification,” the Navy’s statement read.

On March 18, a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey aircraft crashed in northern Norway, killing four U.S. Marines on board. The four Marines were assigned to 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, II Marine Expeditionary Force, and were participating in Exercise Cold Response 22 in Norway.