Explosion occurs on board British nuclear submarine, killing two

An air purification system malfunctioned Wednesday on a nuclear-powered British submarine during an exercise in the Arctic, and two sailors were killed and one was injured, the AP said.

The HMS Tireless was submerged under an ice cap in a joint exercise with the United States at the time of the 12:20 a.m. EDT incident but surfaced quickly, according to the Ministry of Defence.

The submarine’s nuclear reactor was not affected, the ministry said in a statement.

HMS Tireless is a hunter-killer submarine and does not carry nuclear missiles, the ministry said.

It was not immediately clear what went wrong with the air purification system in a forward section of the submarine, a ministry spokesman said while speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government policy.

The injured sailor was airlifted to a U.S. military hospital, the ministry said. His injuries were not described as life-threatening.

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