Explosion and fire on Navy ship in San Diego injures sailors

Fire could burn for days, according to fire chiefs, as there is no safe way to tackle blaze

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Sunday 12 July 2020 21:29
Comments
An explosion on the USS Bonhomme Richard caused a fire onboard the US Navy ship at the San Diego Naval Base
An explosion on the USS Bonhomme Richard caused a fire onboard the US Navy ship at the San Diego Naval Base

Firefighters in San Diego responded to a blaze aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard after an explosion on Sunday.

Approximately 200 sailors were on board the US Navy ship. CNN reports that there are 11 people injured, but everyone is safely off the vessel.

San Diego Fire Chief Colin Stowell said that the fire could burn for days "down to the water line" as there is no safe way at present to tackle the blaze.

The amphibious assault vessel was in port undergoing routine maintenance when the explosion happened at around 9am local time.

Video of the scene showed firefighters rushing into thick smoke billowing from the ship docked at the San Diego Naval Base.

Dramatic aerial footage show vast plumes of smoke reaching up into the sky above the base.

Local fire crews have since left the ship and pier due to the potential for explosions from oil and fuel stored on board.

“Explosion with at least one injury at the USS Bonhomme Richard,” the fire department wrote on Twitter, adding it was working with Federal Fire to account for all sailors and clear the area.

Fireboats were seen spraying the sides of the ship.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately apparent and the San Diego Fire Rescue Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

With reporting from Reuters

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