Efforts to extinguish the fire on the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard at Naval Base San Diego have continued into Monday morning, according to the Navy.
The Navy’s most recent update from 6:49 a.m. EDT Monday said that firefighting teams are still working to extinguish the fire, which sailors first reported at about 8:30 a.m. PDT Sunday.
Two helicopters from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 3 started helicopter water bucket aerial firefighting operations at 4:30 a.m. local time Monday. Firefighting efforts have involved personnel from Naval Base San Diego and the City of San Diego Fire Department, along with Harbor Police fire boats and fire teams from other ships, according to the Navy.
As of 3:30 a.m. PST, firefighting teams continue operations on board USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) in addition to aerial firefighting operations that commenced via helicopter water bucket at 10:30 p.m. PST with two helicopters from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron THREE. pic.twitter.com/WghSnajEZf
— Naval Surface Forces (@SurfaceWarriors) July 13, 2020
All told, 57 sailors and civilians have been injured in the Bonhomme Richard fire, according to Naval Surface Force Pacific spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Patricia Kreuzberger.
Not all those injuries required hospitalization, she said, and five personnel remained hospitalized and in stable condition as of Monday morning.
Those 57 comprise the total number injured since the fire broke out Sunday morning and most were for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion, according to a Navy release.
Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3, said ll other sailors had been evacuated and accounted for.
Sign up for the Navy Times Daily News Roundup
Don’t miss the top Navy stories, delivered each afternoon
By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Navy Times Daily News Roundup.
The exact cause of the fire is unclear, but Sobeck said the ship experienced an internal explosion earlier Sunday. Sobeck also said it appears the fire originated in the “Deep V” — or the lower cargo hold — of the ship.
“That’s where we believe it was started,” Sobeck said.