x

Society

21 Injured in Fire Aboard Ship at Naval Base San Diego

SAN DIEGO — Twenty-one people suffered minor injuries in an explosion and fire Sunday on board a ship at Naval Base San Diego, military officials said. 

The blaze was reported shortly before 9 a.m. on USS Bonhomme Richard, said Mike Raney, a spokesman for Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. 

Seventeen sailors and four civilians were hospitalized with "non-life threatening injuries," Raney said in a brief statement. He didn't provide additional details. 

Previously, officials said at least one person was treated for smoke inhalation. 

The cause of the fire was under investigation. It wasn't immediately known where on the 840-foot (255-meter) amphibious assault vessel the blast and the fire occurred. The flames sent up a huge plume of dark smoke visible around San Diego. 

Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the Navy thinks the fire began somewhere in a lower cargo hold where marine equipment and vehicles are stored.

The fire was not a fueled by fuel oil, hazardous materials or electrical causes, Sobeck told the newspaper. It was fueled by paper, cloth, rags or other materials in a standard fire. He said he is not concerned about the air quality or toxicity around the fire.

There was no ordnance on board, Sobeck said. There are a million gallons of fuel on board, he said, but that is "well below" any heat source.

The explosion was probably caused by a change in air pressure, he told the Union-Tribune. 

San Diego is the Bonhomme Richard's home port, and the ship was undergoing routine maintenance at the time of the fire. 

About 160 sailors and officers were on board, Raney said — far fewer than the thousand typically on the ship when it's on active duty. 

All crew members were accounted for, said Admiral Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. 

"We are grateful for the quick and immediate response of local, base, and shipboard firefighters aboard USS Bonhomme Richard," Gilday said in a statement.

The 23-year-old ship has the capacity to deploy and land helicopters, smaller boats and amphibious vehicles. Because of its age, a fire could be particularly destructive, especially if it reached the engine room and other tight spaces with machinery, said Lawrence B. Brennan, a professor of admiralty and international maritime law at Fordham University in New York. 

"The heat of a fire of this nature can warp the steel, and that can be a major problem for any ship," said Brennan. "On an older ship, it's even more of a problem." 

Two other docked ships, USS Fitzgerald and USS Russell, were moved to berths away from the fire, officials said. 

RELATED

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — When officials unfurled a 25-foot rainbow flag in front of Colorado Springs City Hall this week, people gathered to mourn the victims of a mass shooting at a popular gay club couldn't help but reflect on how such a display of support would have been unthinkable just days earlier.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Search Effort Intensifies after Indonesia Quake Killed 271

CIANJUR, Indonesia — More rescuers and volunteers were deployed Wednesday in devastated areas on Indonesia's main island of Java to search for the dead and missing from an earthquake that killed at least 271 people.

ATHENS - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis paid a visit on Saturday to the Police Station of Kallithea, the southwestern suburb of Athens, which houses an Operational Office dealing with domestic violence of a network of 18 such centers incorporated in police stations.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — When officials unfurled a 25-foot rainbow flag in front of Colorado Springs City Hall this week, people gathered to mourn the victims of a mass shooting at a popular gay club couldn't help but reflect on how such a display of support would have been unthinkable just days earlier.

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — The Biden family's tradition of eating lunch, shopping and watching a Christmas tree lighting in downtown Nantucket on Friday became mostly about keeping the president's 2-year-old grandson from having a meltdown.

AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Respect achieved.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.