H.M.S. "Broadsword" (Fire)

HC Deb 02 March 1951 vol 484 c331W 331W

Mr. G. Hutchinson

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether an inquiry has yet been held into the cause of the outbreak of fire on board the destroyed H.M.S. "Broadsword" on Sunday 14th January, 1951; and what was the result of the inquiry.

Mr. Callaghan

At 8 a.m. on Sunday, 14th January, some bales of waste and canvas awnings were discovered to be smouldering in the tiller flat of H.M.S. "Broadsword" and an ordinary seaman was found lying unconscious near the fire. I regret to say, despite every effort, it proved impossible to revive him. Death was found by the coroner to be due to misadventure. The medical evidence was to the effect that the rating died from carbon monoxide poisoning and there were no signs of injury on the body. The incident was investigated by the Gillingham police and a naval Board of Inquiry was also convened. This Board has since reported that in their view the rating's death was accidental and that there was insufficient evidence to determine the cause of the fire.