SAN DIEGO: Twenty-one people suffered minor accidents in an explosion and hearth Sunday on board a ship at Naval Base San Diego, army officers stated.
The blaze was reported shortly earlier than 9 a.m. on USS Bonhomme Richard, stated Mike Raney, a spokesman for Naval Floor Drive, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Seventeen sailors and 4 civilians had been hospitalized with “non-life threatening accidents,” Raney stated in a quick assertion. He did not present extra particulars.
Beforehand, officers stated at the least one individual was handled for smoke inhalation.
The reason for the hearth was below investigation. It wasn’t instantly identified the place on the 840-foot (255-meter) amphibious assault vessel the blast and the hearth occurred. The flames despatched up an enormous plume of darkish smoke seen round San Diego.
Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3, instructed the San Diego Union-Tribune that the Navy thinks the hearth started someplace in a decrease cargo maintain the place marine gear and autos are saved.
The hearth was not a fueled by gasoline oil, hazardous supplies or electrical causes, Sobeck instructed the newspaper. It was fueled by paper, material, rags or different supplies in a normal hearth. Sobeck stated he’s not involved in regards to the air high quality or toxicity across the hearth.
There was no ordnance on board, Sobeck stated. There are 1,000,000 gallons of gasoline on board, he stated, however that’s “nicely under” any warmth supply.
The explosion was most likely attributable to a change in air stress, Sobeck instructed the Union-Tribune.
San Diego is the Bonhomme Richard’s residence port, and the ship was present process routine upkeep on the time of the hearth.
About 160 sailors and officers had been on board, Raney stated – far fewer than the thousand usually on the ship when it is on lively responsibility.
All crew members had been accounted for, stated Admiral Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations.
“We’re grateful for the fast and speedy response of native, base, and shipboard firefighters aboard USS Bonhomme Richard,” Gilday stated in a press release.
The 23-year-old ship has the capability to deploy and land helicopters, smaller boats and amphibious autos. Due to its age, a hearth could possibly be significantly damaging, particularly if it reached the engine room and different tight areas with equipment, stated Lawrence B. Brennan, a professor of admiralty and worldwide maritime legislation at Fordham College in New York.
“The warmth of a fireplace of this nature can warp the metal, and that may be a serious downside for any ship,” stated Brennan. “On an older ship, it is much more of an issue.”
Two different docked ships, USS Fitzgerald and USS Russell, had been moved to berths away from the hearth, officers stated.