SAN DIEGO (AP/KSWB) – More than 20 people were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries Sunday in a fire and explosion on the USS Bonhomme Richard at Naval Base San Diego, U.S. Navy officials said.
The San Diego Fire-Rescue Dept. said multiple agencies had responded to the fire. It was reported just before 9 a.m. at 3455 Senn St. Units arrived on the scene at approximately 10:10 a.m., the department said. Nearly 180 fire personnel were assigned to the scene.
Seventeen sailors and four civilians were hospitalized, said Mike Raney, a spokesman for Naval Surface Force, US Pacific Fleet.
The cause of the fire was under investigation. Krishna Jackson, the base’s public information officer, didn’t know 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.
San Diego is the Bonhomme Richard’s home port and it was undergoing routine maintenance at the time of the fire.
Jackson estimated about 200 sailors and officers were on board – far fewer than if the ship was on active duty.
The ship has the capacity to deploy and land helicopters, smaller boats and amphibious vehicles.
Two other docked ships, USS Fitzgerald and USS Russell, were moved to berths away from the fire, Raney said.
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