San Diego, July 13
Flames raged for hours aboard a US warship docked at Naval Base San Diego on Sunday, prompting an evacuation of the vessel and sending 21 individuals to the hospital with minor accidents, Navy and native fireplace officers mentioned.
The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department reported an explosion along with the three-alarm blaze, which broke out at about 8:30 a.m. native time aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault vessel in port for routine upkeep.
Palls of thick, acrid smoke seen for miles engulfed a lot of the 844-foot (257 meter) warship for a number of hours, as about half a dozen firefighting boats within the harbor educated streams of water onto the burning vessel.
Seventeen sailors and 4 civilians had been taken to an area hospital for remedy of non-life-threatening accidents, and all those that had been aboard the warship — about 160 personnel — have been accounted for, the Navy mentioned in a press release.
The Navy earlier mentioned 18 crew members had been harm.
Rear Admiral Charles Brown, a US Navy spokesman on the Pentagon, mentioned the injured sailors had principally sustained smoke inhalation and minor burns. The vessel usually carries a crew of roughly 1,000.
Around midday native time, the San Diego fireplace division mentioned all of its personnel had been directed to exit the pier, whereas aerial footage confirmed the blaze showing to develop in dimension.
Two guided-missile destroyers docked close by — the USS Fitzgerald and USS Russell — had been moved to piers farther from the burning vessel inside the subsequent 90 minutes, the Navy mentioned in a press release. Smoke from the hearth appeared to start dying round three p.m. native time.
San Diego-based Navy spokesman Mike Raney mentioned the exact origin and explanation for the blaze had but to be decided, however there was no instant proof of foul play. Munitions carried aboard warships are usually offloaded earlier than the vessels enter port for upkeep as a safety precaution, he instructed Reuters.
The fireplace broke out beneath the water-line of the ship, making it harder to carry below management, and sure unfold to the vessel’s gasoline techniques, in line with a civilian contractor on the scene who spoke to Reuters on situation of anonymity.
The Bonhomme Richard, commissioned in 1998, is designed to hold US Marine Corps assault helicopters and floor troops into battle. As a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, it ranks because the second-largest vessel sort within the Navy’s fleet, surpassed solely by plane carriers.
The stricken vessel has participated in a number of navy operations over time and likewise has appeared in a pair of Hollywood movies — the 2012 sci-fi motion film “Battleship,” starring Liam Neeson and singer Rihanna, and “Act of Valor,” which featured active-duty US Navy SEALs, in line with San Diego tv station KGTV, an ABC News affiliate.
The ship was named in honor of Benjamin Franklin, certainly one of America’s founding fathers and creator of the influential “Poor Richard’s Almanack,” which he wrote below the pseudonym Poor Richard or Richard Saunders. It turned a forerunner of the favored “Old Farmer’s Almanac.” Reuters