All injuries were "non-life-threatening," according to the Naval Service Forces official Twitter account

By Claudia Harmata
July 12, 2020 08:15 PM
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Navy Ship Fire
Credit: Denis Poroy/AP/Shutterstock

At least 21 people were injured after a fire erupted aboard a ship at the San Diego Naval Base on Sunday morning.

According to the official Twitter page for the Naval Surface Forces, at approximately 8:30 a.m. local time, a fire erupted on the USS Bonhomme Richard while it was moored pier side at the base.

Approximately 160 sailors were aboard the 840-foot ship at the time, and the Navy first reported that 18 sailors from the ship were transferred to a local hospital with "non-life threatening injuries" as local, base and shipboard firefighters responded to the fire.

In a later statement, the Navy specified that 17 sailors and four civilians were taken to a local hospital with "non-life threatening injuries."

Mike Raney, a spokesman for Naval Surface Force, US Pacific Fleet, told the Associated Press that the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Investigators are still not sure where the fire started on the vessel.

At the time of the fire, the USS Bonhomme Richard, which has a crew of 1,000, was going through a maintenance availability.

All crew members were accounted for, Admiral Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations told the AP.

Navy Ship Fire
Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

San Diego Fire Chief Colin Stowell told CNN that the ship may burn for days, "down to the waterline."

Federal Fire San Diego was still on-scene on Sunday evening leading firefighting efforts, according to the Naval Surface Forces.

“Currently there are two firefighting teams fighting the fire aboard the ship,” said Federal Fire San Diego Division Chief Rob Bondurant said in a statement at 4 p.m. local time. “Federal Fire is rotating their crews aboard the ship with [the U.S. Navy] firefighting crews from the waterfront to fight the fire in order to, find the seat of the fire and extinguish it."