Skip to main content

The Canadian destroyer heading an international task force in the Gulf of Oman accidentally fired a torpedo during a training exercise Wednesday.

The Defence Department said the Mk46 torpedo from HMCS Iroquois didn't arm and dove harmlessly into the seabed at a depth of about 100 metres. There were no ships or submarines in the area at the time.

The department said an investigation would begin into the cause of the accident. The destroyer's torpedo tubes have been rendered inoperable pending the outcome of the investigation.

The Mk46 is an antisubmarine homing torpedo. It is carried by all Canadian frigates and destroyers, as well as Canadian antisubmarine warfare aircraft. Iroquois, which is based in Halifax, is equipped with six torpedo tubes, evenly divided between the ship's port and starboard sides.

Iroquois is the flagship of coalition Task Force 151, Canada's principal naval contribution to the war against terrorism.

The accident was the second involving the aging destroyer in recent months. In late February, a Sea King helicopter slammed on to the ship's deck and was heavily damaged shortly after the vessel left Halifax to join the task force.