U.S. Navy ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) caught fire on Sunday morning while it was moored pier side at Naval Base San Diego.
According to the U.S. Navy, 21 people were being treated for light injuries on Sunday.
The Navy said in a statement: “Today, we suffered a terrible tragedy aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) when a fire broke out aboard the ship while in port San Diego. At this point, 17 Sailors and four civilians are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries at a local hospital.
“The remainder of the crew is accounted for. We are grateful for the quick and immediate response of local, base, and shipboard firefighters aboard USS Bonhomme Richard. Our thoughts and prayers are with our BHR Sailors, their families, and our emergency responders who continue to fight the fire. Godspeed,” the Navy said.
Approximately 160 Sailors were aboard at the time when the fire broke out. USS Bonhomme Richard is going through a maintenance availability and has a crew size of approximately 1000. Two other U.S. Navy vessels USS Fitzgerald, and USS Russel shifted berths to a pier further away from the fire.
Federal Fire San Diego is the on-scene lead for firefighting efforts on Naval Base San Diego combatting the fire on USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6).
“Currently there are two firefighting teams fighting the fire aboard the ship,” said Federal Fire San Diego Division Chief Rob Bondurant on Sunday. “Federal Fire is rotating their crews aboard the ship with U.S. Navy firefighting crews from the waterfront to fight the fire in order to, find the seat of the fire and extinguish it. Also, Navy Region Southwest tugs are also continuously combatting the fire from the bay.”
As of 2300 PST, defensive operations continued onboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). Additionally, aerial firefighting operations began via helicopter water bucket at 2230 (PST) with two helicopters from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron THREE, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet said on social media.
The origin of the fire is still unknown and is pending investigation.