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Sailor dies after nuclear submarine mishap
Updated: 2005-01-10 20:57

HAGATNA, Guam - A nuclear submarine that ran aground about 350 miles south of Guam, killing one crewman and injuring 23 others, reached its home port of Apra Harbor, Guam, on Monday, according to a Navy spokesman.

In this photo released by the US Navy the attack submarine USS San Francisco (SSN 711) is escorted by two harbor tugs returns to Apra Harbor, Guam, after a five-month deployment June 4, 2004. [AP]
The dead man was identified by the Navy as Machinist Mate 2nd Class Joseph Allen Ashley, 24, of Akron, Ohio. He died Sunday of injuries he received in the accident, said Jon Yoshishige, spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Honolulu.

There were no reports of damage to the USS San Francisco's reactor plant, but the extent of damage to the 360-foot submarine would be determined after an investigation of its hull, Yoshishige said. The vessel reached port under its own power.

Officials said they still don't know what the Los Angeles-class submarine hit Saturday, but Lt. j.g. Adam Clampitt of the Pacific Fleet said it had been conducting operations underwater at the time.

Details of the accident won't be disclosed while the investigation into its cause continues, Yoshishige said.

It was apparent that the bow, or front, of the submarine sustained damage, and an assessment will be conducted to determine the extent of the damage, he said.

Lt. Arwen Consaul, a Navy public affairs officer here, said the hull was intact.

Navy medical personnel from Guam were brought aboard the submarine to treat the injuries, which included broken bones, lacerations, bruises and a back injury, the Navy said. The submarine has a crew of 137.

Ashley, graduated in 1999 from Manchester High School where he played drums with the high school marching band, his mother, Vicki Ashley, said on Sunday. She said he followed the footsteps of his father, Daniel Ashley, who served eight years in the Navy during the Vietnam War.

The San Francisco is one of three submarines based on Guam.

Located west of the international date line, Guam is a U.S. territory about 3,700 miles southwest of Hawaii.

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