Chicoutimi "Conspiracy Theory"?
Well, it's finally happened. This article from The Toronto Star is the first attempt I've seen to try to show some big "cause and effect" linking a bunch of what really appear to be unrelated events to the deadly fire. Of special interest is the seeming slant of the article to blame the electrical ground that preceded the fire on seawater that entered the sub through the open bridge hatch earlier in the day. I can't say for sure, because I've never been on this class of submarine, but I would assume the electrical panel have "spray-tight panel covers" (in link, see last sentence of para. 320-188.8.131.52) that would keep water out under most any circumstance other that full immersion. From my perspective thousands of miles away, it seems that the force of the explosion that led to the fire was mostly likely due to a really hard zero ohm ground; seawater spray would probably not cause this. I still think they'll eventually determine that a bus bar had come loose.
One sentence from the article really jumped out at me. Near the bottom, and with no previous mention or attempt at justification, they say:
There is much speculation that the salt water that entered the Chicoutimi may have affected the batteries of the diesel-electric submarine.
Although they immediately have someone from the Navy deny this happened, I'm wondering what the reason could be for putting it in, other that to try to make the fire appear much more ominous than it was. When enough seawater gets in a submarine battery, you end up with the problem of chlorine gas generation. (This was one of the theories behind the death of the crew of the Chinese submarine [Ming Hull 361] last year.)