Danish inventor charged with murder after submarine is wrecked

A helicopter search the area off of Copenhagen Harbour where the world's largest privately-built submarine 'Nautilus' was reported missing near Copenhagen, Denmark August 11, 2017. Scanpix Denmark/Bax Lindhardt via REUTERS

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A Danish inventor has been charged with the murder of a Swedish journalist who police said had been on his submarine before it was wrecked on Friday.

Peter Madsen, 46, was rescued on Friday morning in a navy operation and taken ashore after the 17-metre homemade submarine sank, police said in a statement.

The police later said Madsen had been charged with the murder of the female journalist. The inventor, 46, denied the charges and said he had dropped the woman off in Copenhagen on Thursday night, according to the police.

The police in Sweden said they had tried without success to contact the woman by phone. Her family had not heard from her.

Madsen, an entrepreneur known as an artist, submarine builder and aerospace engineer, will go before a judge for preliminary questioning on Saturday.

Police said the submarine was on the seabed in Koge Bay, south of Copenhagen, at a depth of seven metres. Divers had not been able to enter the vessel.

The submarine, UC3 Nautilus, is one of three constructed by Madsen. It can carry eight people.

(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen, Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Andrew Roche)