The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) continued to burn at Naval Base San Diego Tuesday, two days after it caught fire following an explosion during a maintenance availability. However, a new report indicates that crews are starting to make progress in getting the fire under control.
10 News San Diego reports that firefighters are working hard to save the ship, which has started to list. The fire is getting dangerously close to a million gallons of oil on the ship, but Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group THREE, told reporters he expected crews would be able to keep the fire away from that part of the ship, according to the report.
Due to the danger posed by the fire, firefighters have been battling the blaze off the vessel by dropping water from helicopters and spraying the ship from firefighting boats.
The report indicates that 36 Sailors and 23 civilians were injured in fire, and five initially had to be hospitalized, but all are expected to survive the ordeal.
It is not yet known what caused the fire. It happened while the vessel was undergoing maintenance work.
MAIN PHOTO: SAN DIEGO (July 13, 2020) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the “Merlins” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3, provides aerial firefighting support alongside Sailors and civilian fire crews on the ground to fight the fire aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). On the morning of July 12, a fire was called away aboard the ship while it was moored pier side at Naval Base San Diego. Base and shipboard firefighters responded to the fire. Bonhomme Richard is going through a maintenance availability, which began in 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mar’Queon A. D. Tramble)