An explosion on a United States Navy ship moored at a base in California set off a major fire on Sunday injuring 21 people – 17 of them sailors, in accordance to the main of naval functions.
The USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault vessel, was in port at its dwelling foundation in San Diego for upkeep when the explosion took spot at about 8.30am local time on Sunday (15:30 GMT).
“We are grateful for the quick and immediate reaction of regional, base, and shipboard firefighters aboard BHR,” the naval-operations chief wrote on Twitter, referring to the Bonhomme Richard. “Our ideas and prayers are with our BHR Sailors, their family members, and our emergency responders who continue on to battle the fireplace.”
Thick smoke could be observed billowing from huge sections of the 844-foot (257-metre) warship, as firefighters on tugboats experimented with to regulate the blaze employing drinking water cannon.
— Naval Surface area Forces (@SurfaceWarriors) July 12, 2020
The wounded ended up taken to healthcare facility with minor accidents. A number of firefighters reportedly also experienced burns and smoke inhalation.
Rear Admiral Charles Brown, a US Navy spokesman at the Pentagon, explained the hurt sailors had generally sustained smoke inhalation and small burns. About 160 sailors have been on board at the time and all have been accounted for, the Us Navy claimed. The ship normally carries a crew of about 1,000.
Two guided-missile destroyers docked nearby – the USS Fitzgerald and USS Russell – were moved to piers farther from the burning vessel in just the up coming 90 minutes, the Navy reported in a statement. Smoke from the fire appeared to ease around 3pm area time (22:00 GMT).
San Diego-primarily based Navy spokesman Mike Raney said the precise origin and bring about of the blaze had yet to be decided, but there was no speedy proof of foul play. Munitions carried aboard warships are commonly offloaded ahead of the vessels enter port for maintenance as a protection precaution, he told the Reuters information agency.
The fire broke out below the waterline of the ship, earning it extra challenging to provide beneath management, and likely spread to the vessel’s gasoline units, according to a civilian contractor on the scene who spoke to Reuters on issue of anonymity.
The Bonhomme Richard, commissioned in 1998, is intended to carry US Marine Corps attack helicopters and floor troops into fight.
The vessel has participated in quite a few army operations in excess of the several years and also has appeared in a pair of Hollywood movies – which includes the 2012 sci-fi motion movie “Battleship,” starring Liam Neeson and singer Rihanna.
The ship is named in honour of Benjamin Franklin, one particular of America’s founding fathers and author of the influential Lousy Richard’s Almanack, which he wrote below the pseudonym Poor Richard or Richard Saunders.
Al Jazeera and news businesses