Fire breaks out on French submarine during renovations

PARIS (AP) — Dozens of firefighters are battling a blaze on a French nuclear submarine that broke out Friday during renovation work.

The submarine's nuclear reactor, nuclear fuel and weapons were removed five months ago to prepare for the renovations, so are not at risk from the blaze, according to an official with the regional maritime authority. The authority tweeted that the smoke spewing from the site is not radioactive.

All workers and sailors aboard the submarine when the fire broke out in the Mediterranean port of Toulon were safely evacuated, the official said.

Local newspaper Var-Matin published images of white smoke rising from the port, and reported that some of the people aboard fled via the submarine's torpedo holds.

Some 30 specialized navy firefighters joined local fire brigades in trying to extinguish the blaze, which was still burning five hours after it broke out, the official said.

The submarine, named Perle, is the most recent of France's six Ruby-class nuclear attack submarines, and entered service in 1993, the official said.

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