Fire rages aboard U.S. Navy warship in San Diego

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The Navy says the fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard reportedly began in the lower vehicle storage area and led to an internal explosion at 8:30 a.m on Sunday. Firefighters are still battling the flames as the ship remains at Naval Base San Diego. The cause of the fire is unknown.

Speaking at a news event, Rear Admiral Philip Sobeck says the fire damaged the front deck and superstructure, and collapsed the front mast. The ship is without munitions but has a million gallons of fuel two decks below the flames. The Pacific Fleet says 59 sailors and civilians are non-critically injured.

Defense News reports the warship was about to complete upgrades for operating F-35 jets. According to the Navy, the ship's Halon fire suppression system had been disengaged because it was undergoing maintenance.

According to Sobeck, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Three's Seahawks dropped 415 buckets of water on the vessel, and 400 sailors are fighting to save the ship. In a separate statement, San Diego Fire Department Chief Colin Stowell, whose firefighters are helping the effort, told CNN that the ship could burn "down to the waterlines."

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Fire believed to have broken out in lower vehicle storage and triggered internal explosion
2. Warship suffers deck, superstructure damage and collapsed front mast
3. Fire suppression system was disabled during planned maintenance
4. Efforts to save the ship are ongoing

VOICEOVER (in English):
"The Navy says the fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard reportedly began in the lower vehicle storage area and led to an internal explosion at 8:30 a.m on Sunday. Firefighters are still battling the flames as the ship remains at Naval Base San Diego. The cause of the fire is unknown."

"Speaking at a news event, Rear Admiral Philip Sobeck says the fire damaged the front deck and superstructure, and collapsed the front mast. The ship is without munitions but has a million gallons of fuel two decks below the flames. The Pacific Fleet says 59 sailors and civilians are non-critically injured."

"Defense News reports the warship was about to complete upgrades for operating F-35 jets. According to the Navy, the ship's Halon fire suppression system had been disengaged because it was undergoing maintenance."

"According to Sobeck, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Three's Seahawks dropped 415 buckets of water on the vessel, and 400 sailors are fighting to save the ship. In a separate statement, San Diego Fire Department Chief Colin Stowell, whose firefighters are helping the effort, told CNN that the ship could burn, quote, 'down to the waterlines.'"

SOURCES: Pacific Fleet, CNN, San Diego Tribune
https://www.cpf.navy.mil/news.aspx/130677
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/07/13/us/uss-bonhomme-richard-fire-monday/index.html
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/07/12/us/ship-explosion-san-diego-naval-base/index.html
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/military/story/2020-07-13/inferno-on-san-diego-navy-ship-rages-into-second-day