FIRE on USS Bonhomme Richard cover pic 120720 CREDIT PORT OF SAN DIEGO HARBOR POLICE
USA

US Navy Ship Fire: Sailors And Civilians Injured

The blaze took place on USS Bonhomme Richard while at Naval Base San Diego in California.

FIRE on USS Bonhomme Richard cover pic 120720 CREDIT PORT OF SAN DIEGO HARBOR POLICE

Twenty-one people have been injured after an explosion and fire on a ship at Naval Base San Diego.

The blaze was reported on USS Bonhomme Richard just before 9am local time on Sunday, said Mike Raney, a spokesman for Naval Surface Force, US Pacific Fleet.

Seventeen sailors and four civilians were hospitalised with "non-life threatening injuries", Mr Raney said.

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

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Port of San Diego Harbor Police Department boats combat a fire on board USS Bonhomme Richard 120720 CREDIT US NAVY
The fire on the American ship was first reported on Sunday morning (Picture: US Navy).

It is unknown where on the 840ft amphibious assault vessel the blast and the fire occurred.

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

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, Mr Raney said, which is far fewer than the thousand typically on the ship when it is on active duty.

The ship has the capacity to deploy and land helicopters, smaller boats and amphibious vehicles.

Two other docked ships, USS Fitzgerald and USS Russell, were moved to berths away from the fire, Mr Raney said.

Cover image: Port of San Diego Harbor Police/Twitter.