At the Naval Base San Diego, an amphibious assault ship caught fire on Sunday resulting in an onboard explosion that left 21 people injured and filled the sky with dark smoke.
According to a statement from Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, the entire crew of the USS Bonhomme Richard has been considered for and all are off the 840-foot vessel. 17 sailors and 4 civilians were hospitalized and were in stable conditions, said Rear Admiral Philip Sobeck during a Sunday Night Press Conference.
Sobeck informed The blaze was reported around 8:30 am in the lower vehicle storage. At the time when Navy is still determining the actual cause of the explosion, Sobeck said it might be due to "backdraft of overpressurization as the compartment started heating up."
At that time, about 163 sailors were aboard in the 23-year-old ship which is fewer than the number of sailors in an active duty timing. By 6:30 PM, the smoke was still blowing on the ship came from “normal think that you will find in your compartments like books and clothes. Luckily the fuel tank was far from the fire and not affected.
Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Gilday said, “ We are grateful for the quick and immediate response of local, base, and shipboard firefighters aboard USS Bonhomme Richard.
The two other destroyers, USS Russell and USS Fitzgerald were moved further away from the fire during the day.
The USS Bonhomme Richard has the ability to deploy and land helicopters, amphibious vehicles and smaller boats. Bonhomme Richard was on its home port for maintenance at the time of catching fire.