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Explosion, fire on USS Bonhomme Richard sends 18 sailors to hospital, fills San Diego skies with dark smoke

, USA TODAY
Published 4:29 p.m. ET July 12, 2020 | Updated 4:53 p.m. ET July 12, 2020

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An amphibious assault ship caught fire after an explosion on Sunday at Naval Base San Diego, injuring 18 sailors and filling the skies with smoke.

Associated Press

An amphibious assault ship caught fire after an explosion on Sunday at Naval Base San Diego, injuring 18 sailors and filling the skies with dark smoke, according to officials.

The entire crew of the USS Bonhomme Richard has been accounted for and all are off the 840-foot vessel, according to a statement from Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet. The 18 sailors have been taken to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

The statement said the blaze was reported close to 8:30 a.m. Several sailors were treated after an explosion, according to the San Diego Fire Department.

Approximately 160 sailors were aboard the ship at the time, officials said — far fewer than if the ship was on active duty.

San Diego is the Bonhomme Richard’s home port and it was undergoing routine maintenance at the time of the fire. The ship has the capacity to deploy and land helicopters, smaller boats and amphibious vehicles.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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