Friday, June 20, 2008

Sailors on Chicoutimi exposed to 'toxic soup' of chemicals: navy

HALIFAX — An ailing sailor who was on board HMCS Chicoutimi when a lethal fire broke out in 2004 says the military has failed to monitor the heath of the sub's crew despite acknowledging Thursday that they breathed in known carcinogens for days after the blaze.

The submariner, who didn't want his named used, said the navy hasn't tracked several chronic health problems that he and others have experienced since they were exposed to a mix of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and other irritants and gases.

"They don't have my best interests or the crew's best interests in hand," the Halifax-based sailor said in an interview.

"There's been no effort to compare files to see how many guys are suffering from what. That concerns me the most because, later on, I don't want to lay in the hospital and find out I'm in the same room with four other guys from the Chicoutimi and we all have the same thing."

The crewman, who suffers from respiratory and neurological disorders, made the comments a day after the military briefed about 30 of the 55 crew and their families about the array of chemicals detected in the smoke.

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