Fire rav­ages Navy ship for 2nd day

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION/WORLD - BY JULIE WAT­SON

SAN DIEGO — Flames tore through a war­ship for a sec­ond day Mon­day as a top Navy of­fi­cial revealed that a fire-sup­pres­sion sys­tem was in­op­er­a­ble when the blaze erupted while the ship was docked in San Diego.

Hun­dreds of sailors were bat­tling to keep flames away from a mil­lion gal­lons of fuel on board the USS Bon­homme Richard. The U.S. Coast Guard hired an oil clean-up crew to put in place a boom that could be ready if any oil is spilled.

Mean­while, acrid smoke from the blaze wafted across San Diego and health of­fi­cials urged peo­ple to stay in­doors if they smelled it.

At least 57 peo­ple were treated for heat ex­haus­tion, smoke in­hala­tion and mi­nor in­juries. Five re­mained hos­pi­tal­ized under ob­ser­va­tion.

Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck said it was too soon to give up on sav­ing the 23-year-old am­phibi­ous assault ship, which has been docked in San Diego since 2018 un­der­go­ing main­te­nance.

“In the last 24 hours, 400 sailors have been on board that ship to make sure that, you know, we make ev­ery ef­fort to save that ship,” said Sobeck, com­man­der of Ex­pe­di­tionary Strike Group 3.

GRE­GORY BULL/AP

A he­li­copter drops wa­ter on the USS Bon­homme Richard on Mon­day in San Diego.

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