A big fire has been raging on American naval vessel USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) in the American city of San Diego since Sunday. Seventeen sailors and four civilians have been taken to a hospital with non life-threatening injuries, the Navy reported.

The fire brigade is fighting the fire with fireboats. Images from American media showed thick clouds of smoke rising from the USS Bonhomme Richard, an aircraft carrier. The vessel was docked at a naval base in San Diego for maintenance when a fire broke out at 08.30 hours (local time). According to the local fire brigade, which is present in large numbers to extinguish the fire, there has also been an explosion on board.

Around noon local time, the San Diego fire brigade said that all its personnel had to leave the pier, while aerial shots showed that the fire seemed to be getting bigger. Two nearby ships, the USS Fitzgerald and the USS Russel, were moved because of the fire. Around 3 p.m. local time, the smoke from the burning ship seemed to be fading away.

Ammunition carried on board warships is unloaded as a safety measure before the ships enter the port for maintenance, according to a naval spokesman. When the fire started, 160 people were on board, according to the US Navy. They all left the ship.

It is not yet clear what caused the fire. According to CNN, the ship’s crew normally consists of about 1000 men. It could take days for the fire to be extinguished.

Source: ANP

Pictures by the US Navy.