Seventeen sailors and four civilians suffered non-life-threatening injuries after an explosion on the USS Bonhomme Richard, which was docked at San Diego Naval Base in California, where it was undergoing maintenance. Nineteen federal firefighters also suffered minor injuries while battling the blaze.
The explosion happened on Sunday (July 12), and firefighters have been working around the clock to get the blaze under control. Officials do not know what caused the initial fire or ensuing explosion. There were 160 sailors aboard at the time, and they have all been evacuated and accounted for.
Authorities said the fire is being fueled by office supplies and other items in the ship's vehicle storage area, and could last for days.
Two other ships, the USS Fitzgerald and the USS Russell were forced to move away to avoid damage from the fire.
Once the flames have been extinguished, officials plan to repair the ship and get it sailing again.
"We're absolutely going to make sure it sails again," Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck said. "Right now, we're going to fight the fire, and then we'll work on understanding what exactly happened to make sure she sails as best as possible in a very near time."
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