Shipyard suspends welding on future carrier John F. Kennedy after small fire

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WASHINGTON — A small fire aboard the U.S. Navy’s next Ford-class carrier John F. Kennedy has prompted builder Newport News Shipbuilding to shut down all welding this week as the shipyard investigates, according to a statement from Huntington Ingalls Industries, its parent company.

The fire broke out around 10:15 a.m. on Monday and was quickly extinguished by emergency crews, the statement read, resulting in no injuries.

Newport News Shipbuilding is investigating the cause of this incident,” the statement from HII spokesman Duane Bourne read. “There are no known cost or schedule impacts at this time.

“Newport News Shipbuilding secured all hot work on CVN 79 while the cause of the fire is being investigated and a yard-wide stand down was conducted for fire safety. The Navy and Newport News Shipbuilding will restore hot work on CVN 79 once the investigation is complete and any necessary corrective actions are in place.”

Fire safety has been an area of intense focus for the ship repair and shipbuilding industry since last week’s fire on the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard. The fire damaged 11 of 14 decks and gutted the ship’s island superstructure, according to a letter from the chief of naval operations obtained by Defense News.

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