WASHINGTON --- Sixty-three people have now been treated for minor injuries as the fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard burns for a fourth day.
As of Wednesday morning, 40 sailors and 23 civilians have been treated for minor injuries including heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation while fighting the fire aboard the amphibious assault ship at Naval Base San Diego, Navy officials said in a statement.
No sailors injured Wednesday went to a hospital, the service said.
Helicopters with water baskets from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 3 have now dumped more than 1,500 buckets of water on the ship to cool it and allow firefighters to battle the fire onboard, according to the Navy. The helicopters have been assisting with the effort since Monday morning.
More than 400 sailors from 12 San Diego-based ships are part of the effort to stop the fire, the Navy said. Those ships include the USS Bonhomme Richard, the USS Fitzgerald, the USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS Cowpens.
The cause of the fire is still unknown, but Navy officials believe the fire started in the cargo hold where supplies were being stored as the ship underwent maintenance at the naval base. The fire was first reported at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday and about 160 sailors were onboard at the time.
One of the ship’s fire suppression systems was not operational when the fire started because it too was being worked on in the shipyard, according to Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, the commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3, which includes the Bonhomme Richard. (end of excerpt)
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