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Gunboat Disaster. ,

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Gunboat Disaster. FATAL" FLARE BACK." Three Killed; Others Injured. Aflate back hom the breech of a 4.7 nava{ gnr> was on Wednesday responsible for a shocking accident on the gunboat Comet tit Spitbead (as briefly reported). The Comet bad taken out jJ. class of seamen Runners and Royal Naval Volunteer Artillery officers for target "practice. A number of rounds were fired, and then, as another was about to be lobsed, a dreadful explosion occurred. The charge flew back from the gun, tearing oil the breech-block, killing three men on the spot, and badly injuring three others. None of the officers were hurt. Help was signalled for. The Comet at once steamed back to Portsmouth, where the dead anci injured were landed at Haalar Hospital. The names are :— Killed-F. Norman,able seaman L. Osbourne, able seaman; L. Read, able seaman. Wounded—G. Hackland. petty officer T. Ji Askew, able seaman and John Devonshire, able seaman. Captain Percy Scott, of the Excellent Gunnery Bckooljto which the Comet is attached.)9 investi- gating the cause of tb3 accidont. The first three named were practically ed on the spot, Read succumbing speedily to terrible injuries. Hackland is saffering from severe con- cussion Askew is badly wounded in the right thigh and has his left arm fractured and Devonshire is suffering from concussion and a wound In the leg.

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