A fire on a U.S. Navy ship Sunday morning left 34 sailors and 23 civilians injured. It has not been disclosed as to what could have caused the explosion.
What We Know:
- The sailors were on the USS Bonhomme Richard when the explosion occurred. All sailors and civilians injured are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. According to a tweet from the US Pacific Fleet Naval Surface Forces, everyone on board the ship is accounted for and has left the ship. There were 160 people on board when the fire started.
— Naval Surface Forces (@SurfaceWarriors) July 12, 2020
- San Diego Fire Department’s Monica Munoz stated firefighters were battling a three-alarm fire on the ship. As of Sunday afternoon, two fire crews were on board the ship. Federal Fire San Diego Division Chief Rob Bondurant says, “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. Navy Region Southwest tugs are also continuously combating the fire from the bay.”
— SDFD (@SDFD) July 12, 2020
- Firefighters were still at it Sunday evening and were at the “seat of the fire, if you will” according to Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck. He says that the sailors on the waterfront are doing great and that they are saving their ship but that it is still unclear as to how the fire started. Sobeck says when the fire started, it was reported to be in the lower vehicle storage area which is a huge, open area used to store marine equipment and everything else.
- A safety zone was set up around the ship and a shelter-in-place was ordered Sunday evening for all non-responding personnel with an 1,800-yard safety perimeter. According to CNN, firefighters still continue to work to put out the fire. San Diego Fire Chief Colin Stowell says the ship could burn for four days down to the water line.
According to CNN, the Bonhomme Richard assault ship can transport Marines and equipment of a Marine Expeditionary Unit and them in a hostile territory via landing craft or helicopters.