San Deigo, July 13
Hundreds of firefighters battled by way of a second day from the air, land and water on Monday to save lots of a U.S. battle vessel swept by flames whereas moored at a San Diego shipyard, because the variety of sailors and civilians injured within the blaze rose to just about 60.
The USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault ship whose measurement ranks second within the U.S. Navy fleet to that of an plane provider, remained largely shrouded in thick, acrid smoke on Monday because the vessel started itemizing to its starboard aspect.
The hearth, accompanied by not less than one giant explosion, erupted Sunday morning within the decrease cargo maintain of the 844-foot-long (257 meter) ship, docked for routine upkeep at its dwelling port at U.S. Naval Base San Diego.
Since then, flames have unfold upward all through a lot of the ship and into the tower and different constructions on the highest of the vessel, Rear Admiral Philip Sobeck instructed a late-morning information convention.
Because it was present process repairs on the time, solely about 160 of the ship’s typical contingent of 1,000 crew members had been aboard on the time, and all main munitions had already been faraway from the vessel as a typical security observe, Navy officers stated.
Helicopters dropped water over the ship all through Monday whereas hearth boats on the perimeter streamed water on the hull to chill it from the surface. San Diego hearth crews discontinued blasting water into the ship from shore, apparently out of concern for destabilizing the vessel’s buoyancy.
Asked whether or not the ship is likely to be burned past restore, Sobeck stated he was “hopeful” it may very well be spared. “Once we get the fire out, which is our priority, then we’ll make that assessment.” The hearth’s trigger was unknown, however a Navy spokesman instructed Reuters there was no proof of foul play.
The Navy stated 36 sailors and 23 civilians had been handled for minor accidents, together with warmth exhaustion and smoke inhalation, and no personnel remained hospitalized.
The Bonhomme Richard, commissioned in 1998, is designed to hold U.S. Marine Corps assault helicopters and floor troops into battle.— Reuters