18 sailors injured after an explosion and fire on a naval ship in San Diego | World Defense

18 sailors injured after an explosion and fire on a naval ship in San Diego

Khafee

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18 sailors injured after an explosion and fire on a naval ship in San Diego
By Artemis Moshtaghian and Theresa Waldrop, CNN
Updated 2110 GMT (0510 HKT) July 12, 2020
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(CNN)Eighteen sailors were injured after an explosion and fire on board a ship at the US Naval Base in San Diego, US Navy officials said.

The sailors on the USS Bonhomme Richard had "minor injuries" from the fire and were taken to a hospital, Lt. Cmdr. Patricia Kreuzberger told CNN.

All of the crew is off the ship and accounted for, according to a tweet from the US Pacific Fleet Naval Surface Forces Sunday afternoon.

In a tweet, the Naval Surface Forces updated the number of sailors taken to the hospital to 18 from 11.

Firefighters were battling a three-alarm fire on the ship, SDFD's Mónica Muñoz said. Several different agencies are working to fight the blaze.
SDFD was requested by Federal Fire at about 9am. #shipfire pic.twitter.com/Ah6GRzpJHJ
— SDFD (@SDFD) July 12, 2020
The ship could burn for days, "down to the water line," San Diego Fire Chief Colin Stowell told CNN's Erica Hill Sunday afternoon.

There was an explosion just as personnel were leaving the ship, Stowell said.

No personnel from any agency is left on the ship, he said.

"The navy is the only one that will work from the pier side, as well as the harbor PD on the fire boats, working from the water side to contain the heat of it," according to Stowell.

It's unclear what started the fire. Initial reports from the ship indicate it started in the well deck, according to a defense official.

The well deck is where small landing craft enter and exit the belly of the ship.

Officials called for San Diego Fire Department's assistance about 9 a.m. local time, Muñoz told CNN.

A second alarm was called at 9:09 a.m. and a third at 9:51 a.m., according to SDFD tweets.

The USS Bonhomme Richard is an amphibious assault ship, according to the US Navy.

There were 160 people on board when the fire started, according to the Naval Surface Forces. The ship, which has a crew of 1,000, was undergoing maintenance.

CNN's Barbara Starr, Mary Kay Mallonee, Melissa Alonso and Ryan Browne contributed to this report.


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Khafee

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Armchair

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When it rains, it pours. The US is a mess, and things just keep getting worse for them. America is facing major civil unrest, rapidly dwindling international stature, political instability, a race war and a potential civil war.

This ship is just icing on the cake.
 

Pakhtoon yum

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When it rains, it pours. The US is a mess, and things just keep getting worse for them. America is facing major civil unrest, rapidly dwindling international stature, political instability, a race war and a potential civil war.

This ship is just icing on the cake.
Reminds you of the fall of Rome. All they are missing now is open hostilities from their neighbours.
 

Armchair

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US ships are generally over engineered. They have very high standards for armour and fire prevention. How could this even happen? Is the ship made of steel or aluminum? I think that's aluminum burning.
 

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USS Bonhomme Richard remains on fire, two more sailors hurt while battling blaze

July 14 (UPI) -- Fire crews could extinguish the blaze on the USS Bonhomme Richard within 24 hours, Rear Admiral Philip Sobeck said Tuesday.

"Significant progress has been made," Sobeck told reporters at a briefing.

Previously, San Diego's fire chief had said the blaze, which broke out Sunday morning, could continue to burn for several days.

Helicopters have dumped 1,200 buckets of water on the amphibious assault vessel, which let crews move further on board to fight the blaze, and tugboats assisted from the waterline.

According to Sobeck, the ship is stable and its million-gallon fuel tanks are no longer is no longer in danger of catching fire.

Late Monday night, the Navy announced that personnel who were hospitalized due to injuries suffered while fighting an ongoing blaze on the Bonhomme Richard have been released.

A total of 36 sailors and 23 civilians have treated for injuries like heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation caused by the fire.

The fire was first reported in a lower cargo area where seafaring tanks and landing craft are parked, and appears to have started in an area where cardboard boxes, rags and other ship maintenance supplies are stored, according to Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3.

One million gallons of fuel are stored on the ship, and Sobeck said firefighters are working to ensure the fire doesn't reach that section of the ship.

There was also an explosion of unknown origin on the ship that took place about two hours after the blaze was first reported.
 

GRANNY001

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The worst thing that can happen to any ship is a fire, whether at sea or alongside! Thank goodness there were no fatalities. Looks like the ship's crew did an awsome job getting the blaze under control. If it weren't for them she would probably have been a total loss. As it is right now, the navy has some hard decisions to make. Do they rebuild it or just give it up as a lost cause. To my mind, any ship is worth saving, especially this one. It may take years of hard work to re-build, but worth the effort!
 

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I believe the ship was still under the care of the ship yard as it was in for a refit to handle F-35s. One of the most vulnerable times for a ship, hatches held open, construction materials laying around and systems shut down. It's been pointed out elsewhere that mistakes were probably made as at one point the ship was evacuated (I am guessing that they were saying that that's when things got out of control) Whomever the authority was called the evacuation when explosions were heard (they thought it was bombs or munitions on the ship) but the ship had been stripped of all that before it went in for refit and was most likely a hatches failing or welding tanks. Most likely a total loss.

They will have to make a decision on building a new ship or refitting one of the anphibs in the moth ball fleet
 
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GRANNY001

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Yes, a very vulnerable time indeed. Normally when a ship goes into a major refit like that, all ammunition is first removed along with all flammables. The ships crew would never leave their ship and those crew still aboard would try to save her. That's the nature of sailors. It sounds as if the shipyard workers did not know what to do or were too afraid, but that is natural during a ship fire. I believe the 18 sailors injured were just trying to save the ship and the fire got the best of them. Were there not fire teams from other nearby ships companies that could have assisted? That's what normally happens with our watches. When our ships go to emergency stations, whether in harbour or alongside. All other units shall do the same and stand by to help if required. The only person that has the authority to evacuate would be the Commanding Officer of the ship or the Dockyard senior person. The dockyard has no control over the crew, so I suspect it was the Captain that ordered the evacuation. Probably the dockyard workers were told to evacuate though. Don't know what caused the explosions though. A board of inquiry should be able to find that out. Probably bringing out a mothballed Amphib would be sensible, but if there were sections of the ship that were not damaged, it would be more cost effective to try and rehabilitate and rebuild her rather than build new. If not, Canada could always fix her, as we may be considering an Amphibious capability. 🥺
 

mtime7

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it was only a skeleton crew there with the ship, the firefighters (fire trucks and all) were Fedral (not city or state) and they called the evacuation and blared the horns on their trucks initiating the evacuation. Not sure if the Captain of the ship was even there or who was in command, but I assume that when any of the sailors heard the evacuation horns that they assumed that it was a lawful order and evacuated.
 
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GRANNY001

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it was only a skeleton crew there with the ship, the firefighters (fire trucks and all) were Fedral (not city or state) and they called the evacuation and blared the horns on their trucks initiating the evacuation. Not sure if the Captain of the ship was even there or who was in command, but I assume that when any of the sailors heard the evacuation horns that they assumed that it was a lawful order and evacuated.
Was there not an "officer of the day" on board? He would normally act on behalf of the ship's Captain. It must have been he who told the remaining crew to evacuate the ship. In any case the dockyard firefighter captain at the scene would have consulted with whom ever was in Command of the crew at the time and "suggested" a full evacuation no matter what the dockyard workers did or were told to do. I can't believe that other nearby ship's companies did not respond to assist the crew (maybe they did-we just don't know). The on-scene commander (officer of the day) would have to have been I/C and would have consulted with the dockyard firefighter captain and he would have made the decision to evacuate the ships crew. 🧯
 

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There were apparently a total of 63 personnel injured (40 sailors and 23 civilians) and firefighting efforts had involved sailors from many ships and units in San Diego, including the helicopter squadron HSC-3, which dropped water on the ship.o_O
 
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