British, French Nuclear Subs Collide

Investigators probing possible nuclear contamination
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Feb 16, 2009 2:48 AM CST
The HMS Vanguard was seriously damaged in its collision with the French Triomphant.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A probe into possible nuclear contamination has been launched after British and French  submarines carrying nuke warheads collided in rough seas in the Atlantic, reports the Telegraph. Both subs were seriously damaged in the collision earlier this month that occurred despite state-of-the-art technology on both vessels dedicated to protect against such crashes. "The potential consequences are unthinkable," a Navy source told the Mail.

The crippled French Triomphant took three days to limp back to port after its sonar tower was almost completely destroyed, and the HMS Vanguard had to be towed. Officials from both nations insist there was no security breach or radioactive contamination, but agencies are continuing to investigate. No serious injuries were reported among the 250 crewmen aboard both vessels. News of the crash emerged in a report by insurer Lloyds' of London.