Dozens of sailors and civilians were injured as firefighting teams continue to work for the second day in a row to quell the blaze on U.S. Navy ship USS Bonhomme Richard at Naval Base San Diego in California, authorities said Monday.
A total of 59 personnel, including 36 sailors and 23 civilians, have been treated for minor injuries including heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation as of Monday afternoon, according to the Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
“Currently, there are no personnel hospitalized,” the Naval Surface Forces tweeted.
“Responders will continue to monitor and assess potential environmental concerns and adjust response actions to ensure the safety and security of the maritime public and the marine environment,” said the tweets.
Navy officials were quoted as saying by a major local news outlet in San Diego that the fire ravaging the amphibious assault ship had reached temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees, and it is still burning in various portions of the ship.
Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, the commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3, told the media that the fire is in the superstructure of the ship and its upper decks and that the ship’s forward mast has collapsed, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Around 160 sailors were aboard the ship when the fire was called away at approximately 8:30 a.m. local time on Sunday. Officials said that local, base and shipboard firefighters are responding to the three-alarm fire and two military ships near USS Bonhomme Richard have shifted berths to a pier further away from the fire.
USS Bonhomme Richard is going through a maintenance availability and has a crew size of around 1,000, the U.S. Navy said Sunday.
The cause of the fire is still unclear. Sobeck was quoted as saying by the San Diego Union-Tribune that the fire may have begun in a cargo area known as the deep V storage area. There are large storage boxes, called triwall boxes, that are the size of pallets that burned.