US Navy Warship Still Ablaze After Tilting to One Side (+Video)

US Navy Warship Still Ablaze After Tilting to One Side (+Video)

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Hundreds of US firefighters battled through a second day to save a US war vessel in San Diego as it is listing because of water from the fire hoses, tugboats and helicopters fighting the inferno, which has destroyed the ship’s forward mast.

According to Reuters, the USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault ship, remained largely shrouded in thick, acrid smoke on Monday as the vessel began listing to its starboard side.

The fire, accompanied by at least one large explosion, erupted Sunday morning in the lower cargo hold of the 844-foot-long (257 meter) ship, docked for routine maintenance at its home port at US Naval Base San Diego.

Since then, flames have spread upward throughout much of the ship and into the tower and other structures on the top of the vessel, Rear Admiral Philip Sobeck told a late-morning news conference.

Helicopters dropped water over the ship throughout Monday while fire boats on the perimeter streamed water on the hull to cool it from the outside. San Diego fire crews discontinued blasting water into the ship from shore, apparently out of concern for destabilizing the vessel’s buoyancy.

Asked whether the ship might be burned beyond repair, Sobeck said he was “hopeful” it could be spared.

The Navy said 36 sailors and 23 civilians had been treated for minor injuries, including heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation.

The cause of fire is still unknown

The Bonhomme Richard, commissioned in 1998, is designed to carry US Marine Corps attack helicopters and ground troops into battle.

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