HMCS KOOTENAY DDE258
On October 23, 1969,
a tragic explosion and fire in the engine room
of HMCS Kootenay took the lives of nine seamen
and injured 62 other members of the ship's company.
HMCS Kootenay departed Plymouth, England on
October 22 in company with other Canadian
warships enroute to Halifax. Prior to the mishap,
Kootenay was detached from the main force to carry
out routine quarterly full power engine trials. At 8:21
on October 23, approximately 20 minutes after the
trials began, and with no warning, an explosion erupted
in the engine room from the ship's starboard gearcase.
The explosion, in turn resulted in a rapidly expanding
fireball, which enveloped the entire engine room
before spreading to the main cafeteria and
passageways above. Heavy smoke and hot gases
spread quickly throughout the ship.