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USS SCORPION PROBABLY SUNK BY OWN TORPEDO

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The nuclear attack submarine USS Scorpion, which disappeared in 1968 in one of the Navy's most gruesome accidents, was probably sunk by one of its own torpedoes, according to newly released Navy documents.

The most likely cause of the explosion that killed all 99 men aboard was a horrifying scenario in which one of the Scorpion's torpedoes somehow became armed, according to more than 70 pages of documents the Navy declassified Monday.The crew probably jettisoned the torpedo only to have it swing around and home in on the sub, the Navy documents said. It burst the boat's bulkheads and plunged it 11,000 feet to the bottom of the Atlantic.

The Navy's former chief scientist, John Craven, said he thinks the non-nuclear torpedo probably exploded inside the submarine itself, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

The Navy said it released the documents because it wanted to allay public concerns about the possible radiation leakage from the sub. Officials said little radiation has leaked.

The Navy cautioned there still is "no incontrovertible proof" of what happened.