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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 March 2007, 17:25 GMT
Dead Arctic submariners are named
Submariner Anthony Huntrod, left, and leading operator mechanic Paul McCann
Air-purification equipment was the source of the blast
Two British sailors killed in an explosion on a nuclear submarine under the Arctic icecap have been named.

Anthony Huntrod, 20, from Sunderland and Paul McCann, 32, from Halesowen, West Midlands, died on board the Devonport-based HMS Tireless.

A third sailor was airlifted to a US military hospital in Alaska.

The boat had to smash through the ice to reach the surface after the blast. A Board of Inquiry investigation has begun into Wednesday's accident.

US authorities said air-purification equipment, known as a self-contained oxygen generation candle, was the source of the blast.

Anthony greatly loved the Navy and the job that he did
Anthony Huntrod family statement

The families of both dead sailors have been told. Their names were released by the Ministry of Defence.

In a statement, Anthony's family said: "He will be greatly missed by us for the rest of our lives.

"He was over the moon when he joined the Navy two years ago. He greatly loved the Navy and the job that he did."

The injured sailor is being treated at Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage for non life-threatening injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.

Tireless is a nuclear-powered Trafalgar-class submarine. It does not carry nuclear weapons, but is armed with five tubes capable of firing Tomahawk missiles.

It is the third of seven such vessels in the Royal Navy, and usually carries a crew of 130.

HMS Tireless submerging in the Arctic on 19 January. Photo Royal Navy

Oxygen candles are emergency devices that create oxygen through a chemical reaction.

Some devices burn at high temperatures during the reaction.

The nuclear reactor of HMS Tireless was unaffected and the ship itself was not in danger, the MoD said.

The Leader of the Commons Jack Straw told MPs: "Those of us who have been on board submarines know just what a potentially dangerous environment it is, and the safety record of the Royal Navy overall was second to none.

"We send our sympathy to the family and the colleagues of the two sailors who were killed."

The Board of Inquiry aims to prevent a recurrence of the tragedy and to see what lessons can be learned.

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22 Mar 07 |  England
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21 Mar 07 |  England
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07 May 01 |  Europe

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