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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 January 2007, 18:21 GMT
Lawyers consider sub deaths case
USS Minneapolis-St Paul
The nuclear-powered submarine is based at Norfolk, Virginia
Police have handed a file to lawyers detailing investigations into the deaths of two US sailors swept from their submarine.

They were among four crewmen working in poor weather on the outside casing of the USS Minneapolis-St Paul in Plymouth Sound, Devon, on 29 December.

The nuclear-powered submarine was leaving Devonport naval base.

Devon and Cornwall Police, the United States Navy and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have been investigating.

'Battered about'

Police said in a statement: "The file of evidence has now been submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in order for them to make a decision regarding prosecution."

Coastguards said after the incident that the four sailors were tied to the 110m (362ft) vessel and were being "battered about" by the weather.

The men were taken to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, where two servicemen were pronounced dead.

The Virginia-based submarine had stopped in Devonport to allow the crew "some rest and recuperation" and has since continued on its journey.

Ben Harding of the regional CPS said the chief prosecutor would examine the case to see whether there were any grounds for a prosecution in a British court.

Mr Harding said: "I don't think it will take too long for that decision to be made."




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