Groton, CT Submarine FLASHER Fire, May 1963


Groton, Conn. (AP) -- A flash fire in the atomic submarine FLASHER killed three men and injured two others Tuesday while they were working to meet a June 22 launching deadline.

The names of the dead were withheld temporarily.

An attack submarine with a shark-shaped hull, the FLASHER is of the same type as the ill-fated THRESHER which sank in the Atlantic on April 30 while on a test dive.

The fire broke out before noon in the FLASHER'S aft trim tank -- a flooding tank in the ship's stern.

The builder, the Electric Boat Division of the General Dynamics Corp., described the damage to the 279-foot-long FLASHER as negligible. The fire was brought under control immediately. The company said it expects to keep the scheduled launching date.

Injured were STANLEY JUSCZYK, 35, of East Warwick, R.I., and JOHN D. GULLUSCIO, 26, of Westerly, R.I.

Both were admitted to Lawrence Memorial Hospital in neighboring New London. JUSCZYK, a painter, was placed on the critical list with third-degree burns. GULLUSCIO, a welding supervisor, was treated for smoke inhalation.

Rep. William L. St.Onge, D-Conn., who represents the district where the yard is located, said he will request an immediate investigation of the cause "and particularly whether any sabotage was involved."

The company said the cause of the fire had not been determined.

Because of the restricted space in the section where the blaze occurred, workers had to cut a hole in the trim tank to reach the victims.

The Oneonta Star New York 1963-05-08