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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Ambush evacuated after fire on board

AN investigation is being launched after a fire on a £1.2bn submarine.

HMS Ambush, which is in the water in Devonshire Dock, Barrow, was evacuated at around 12pm yesterday when crew members activated the fire alarm.

BAE Systems Submarine Solutions, who built the submarine, said there had been an electrical fault which caused a piece of equipment in the rear of the boat to overheat.

Firefighters from Barrow’s Blue Watch crew dealt with the incident. Crew manager Steve Harrison said: “It was a small fire contained in a piece of equipment, and it caused smoke. We used a CO2 hose reel.”

Mr Harrison said BAE Systems staff used air monitoring equipment after the procedure.

A spokesman for BAE Systems Solutions Submarines said: “At approximately 12pm, Ambush was evacuated, in line with standard safety procedure, after the submarine’s fire alarm was activated by members of crew.

“There were no casualties, and all personnel were quickly and effectively accounted for.

“The incident resulted from an electrical fault, which caused a piece of equipment in the rear of the boat to overheat and give off smoke.

“An investigation will now take place to fully examine the incident.”

This is the third fire on board Ambush.

In the first incident in April 2009, while the submarine was inside the Devonshire Dock Hall, a fire was caused by welding sparks igniting external tiles but was put out without serious damage.

Fire also broke out in temporary plastic extraction ducting three decks down inside Ambush in January last year, again while it was inside the DDH.

The first-of-class HMS Astute submarine suffered two fires. Tiles in the submarine’s conning tower caught fire while the sub was moored in Devonshire Dock in 2009. Astute caught fire again in May last year while on sea trials with the navy.

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