Sailor killed in British submarine shooting
LONDON (Reuters) - Two Royal Navy personnel were shot, one fatally, on board a British nuclear submarine in port on Friday and a serviceman was arrested on suspicion of murder, the Ministry of Defence and police said.
The second person shot on board the submarine Astute was taken to hospital and was in a stable condition following the incident at the port of Southampton, police added.
Police and the Ministry of Defence said the shooting, shortly after midday, was not terrorism-related and there was no risk to the public.
The 7,500-tonne vessel is the first of a new class of British nuclear-powered submarines which will be the largest and most powerful attack submarines ever built for the navy.
Commissioned last August, it does not carry nuclear weapons.
"Two Royal Navy personnel have been involved in a firearms incident at Southampton docks where HMS Astute is alongside. Sadly, one has now died as a result of his injuries," a Defence Ministry spokesman said in a statement, adding that a serviceman had been arrested.
Police said: "A man, also a member of the Royal Navy, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder."
The Daily Telegraph said the shooting was believed to have taken place during a guard handover.
Defence Secretary Liam Fox said in a statement: "I am greatly saddened to hear of this tragic incident and of the death of a Royal Navy serviceman."
The city's mayor and other dignitaries were on board at the time but were uninjured, the city council said. A party of schoolchildren had been due to see the ship later in the day.
The 1 billion pound submarine, which has a crew of 98, arrived in Southampton on Wednesday from its base in Faslane, Scotland, for an informal five-day visit.
During the stay, it was not due to be open to the public although civic leaders, sea cadets, Scouts and school and college parties had been invited on board.
The Astute ran aground off the coast of northwest Scotland last October and had to be towed free after becoming snagged on rocks during a sea trial. Its captain later was relieved of his command and given a job elsewhere.
The ministry said the incident was being handled by local police.
(Editing by Andrew Dobbie)
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