Daily US Times: At least 21 people were injured after a fire and explosion on board a navy ship at the US Naval Base in San Diego, US Navy officials said.
The US Navy said in a statement that 17 Sailors and four civilians are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries at a local hospital.
Earlier on Sunday, Lt. Cmdr. Patricia Kreuzberger said the sailors on the USS Bonhomme Richard had “minor injuries” from the fire and were taken to a hospital. The sailors are in stable condition.
According to a tweet from the US Pacific Fleet Naval Surface Forces Sunday afternoon, all of the crew is off the ship.
Firefighters and several different agencies battled a three-alarm fire on the navy ship Sunday morning. Federal Fire San Diego Division Chief Rob Bondurant said in a statement that two fires crews were still on board the ship Sunday afternoon.
Bondurant said: “Federal Fire is rotating their crews aboard the ship with U.S. Navy firefighting crews from the waterfront to fight the fire in order to find the seat of the fire and extinguish it.”
Sobeck said sailors across this waterfront are absolutely doing a magnificent job.
“They are saving their ship. We’re seeing just incredible results.”
It is unclear what caused the fire. The fire was first reported Sunday morning and it was said to be in the lower vehicle storage area, Sobeck said, a “huge, open area where you store a lot of marine equipment and everything else.”
The reason fro the explosion is still be explored. Sobeck said Initial reports indicated a “sort of a backdraft,” or over-pressurization as the compartment started heating up.
The ship could burn for days, “down to the water line”, but Sobeck said they are absolutely going to make sure it sails again.
The Navy said in a statement that it has moved two nearby ships away from the scene.
According to a defense official, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has been briefed on the situation.
About 9 1.m. local time, officials called for San Diego Fire Department’s assistance and a second alarm was called at 9:09 a.m. and a third at 9:51 a.m.
According to the US Navy, the USS Bonhomme Richard is an amphibious assault ship.
There were 160 people on board when the fire started. The ship, which has a crew of 1,000, was undergoing maintenance.