Nuclear emergency teams were last night still desperately scouring the sea bed for nuclear material from the USS Nevada, which was inadvertently sunk last night in the Indian Ocean by local fishermen using mobile phones.
"As far as we can tell, the sub accidentally surfaced under the fishing boat during a practice launch-and-fire exercise." said a Pentagon official. "The fishermen panicked and tried to phone an SOS message on their mobile phones. The phones were far from the nearest land-based mobile relay stations and went to maximum power, and this confused the guidance electronics inside the missile, setting off the emergency self-destruct mechanism as the rocket fired."
"This then detonated the rocket's fuel tanks, causing it to explode inside the open launch tube, and causing a chain reaction with the other 23 missiles onboard, totally destroying the vessel."
"Detonation of a nuclear missile inside the vessel is pretty much the worst-case scenario for a sub", added the spokesman.
Pentagon officals insist that the missile was not fitted with a nuclear warhead, but acknowledge that current practice dictates that other missiles in the sub would have carried nuclear payloads.
"The newer G3 phones emit a range of frequencies that were not taken into account when the guidance electronics were designed," said a Pentagon technical expert yesterday, "And while the electronics did include protection against electronic jamming, the designers did not imagine that external digital transmitters would be in operation at a distance of twenty feet at the moment of launch."
"These are advanced vessels that operate in remote areas under conditions of high secrecy, one does not expect an enemy combatant to be sitting on top of the submarine and calling their mother during a launch sequence," he explained.
"This should not be taken as evidence of any deep vulnerability of our systems to EM interference. Absolutely not. No Sir-ee. Dearie me no. That would be very very wrong indeed."
" 'Complex errors' are an increasing problem in modern technological societies, and can be almost impossible to forsee", said Hishi Yaruta at the Centre or Emergency Management. Wednesday's incident follows last month's false nuclear launch alert on Air Force One caused by a Nintendo Gameboy, and January's evacuation at Yatusk when a researcher's glasses fell into a the core of an experimental nuclear reactor.