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  1. ITV Report

Swedish journalist Kim Wall killed by falling hatch on homemade submarine, suspect claims

Swedish journalist Kim Wall Photo: AP

A Swedish journalist whose headless and limbless body was found off the Danish coast died after she was accidentally hit by a heavy hatch on a homemade submarine, its builder has claimed

Danish inventor Peter Madsen told a pre-trial custody hearing in Copenhagen 30-year-old Kim Wall then dropped to the floor and bled from an open skull fracture.

Ms Wall's torso was found off Copenhagen last month.

Police say her head, arms and legs had been deliberately cut off and have not been found.

Madsen was arrested on August 11 and had been detained on preliminary charges of manslaughter and indecent handling of a corpse.

He appeared on Tuesday before a judge who will decide whether to extend his custody.

The homemade submarine UC3 Nautilus being lifted from Copenhagen Harbour. Credit: PA

Ms Wall, who had worked for the New York Times, The Guardian, South China Morning Post and Vice Magazine, boarded the submarine on the evening of August 10, reportedly as part of an assignment.

Madsen previously claiming he then dropped off his passenger at Copenhagen harbour during the night.

The journalist's boyfriend alerted police the next morning that the submarine, named the UC3 Nautilus, had not returned to Copenhagen as expected after its test run.

Peter Madsen's submarine sank off the coast of Denmark. Credit: APTV

A major search was launched involving the Danish Navy, including two helicopters and three ships, which briefly spotted the sub before it sank.

Rescue crews reported seeing Madsen standing aboard the submarine wearing trademark military fatigues in the vessel's tower whilst it was still afloat.