18 Injured in Fire Aboard Ship at Naval Base San Diego

18 Injured in Fire Aboard Ship at Naval Base San Diego
Smoke rises from the USS Bonhomme Richard at Naval Base San Diego after an explosion and fire on board the ship, in San Diego, Calif., on July 12, 2020. (Denis Poroy/AP Photo)

Eighteen people suffered minor injuries in an explosion and fire Sunday on board a ship at Naval Base San Diego, military officials said.

The blaze was reported shortly before 9 a.m. on USS Bonhomme Richard, said Mike Raney, a spokesman for Naval Surface Force, US Pacific Fleet.

Eighteen people were hospitalized with “non-life threatening injuries,” Raney said in a brief statement. He didn’t have additional details.

Previously officials said at least one person was treated for smoke inhalation.

Fire USS Bonhomme Richard
Smoke rises from a fire on board the U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on July 12, 2020. (Monica Munoz/SD Fire-Rescue/Handout via Reuters)

The cause of the fire was under investigation. It wasn’t immediately known where on the 840-foot amphibious assault vessel the blast and the fire occurred.

The flames sent up a huge plume of dark smoke visible around San Diego.

San Diego is the Bonhomme Richard’s home port and it was undergoing routine maintenance at the time of the fire.

About 160 sailors and officers were on board, Raney said—far fewer than the thousand typically on the ship when it’s on active duty.

The USS Bonhomme Richard, which can deploy and land helicopters, smaller boats, and other vehicles. spent six years in Japan as part of the U.S. Forward Deployed Naval Force before it was sent to San Diego in 2018.

Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this report

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