Landing ship on fire in the port of San Diego - looming disaster

Landing ship on fire in the port of San Diego - looming disaster
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A US Navy warship has been burning in the port of San Diego for several days. There is a threat of sinking. In this case, it will be the largest loss of the American Navy in its history. At the same time the fire occurred for a very unusual reason.

The American warship Bonhomme Richard has one purpose: it can be used during military operations to land troops. Its upper deck accommodates helicopters and vertical take-off and landing aircraft. In the hold, the ship can carry additional landing boats. Now, however, a super-aircraft carrier built 23 years ago is being destroyed by fire in its home port of San Diego. Its loss would be one of the largest losses of the US Navy in history.

On Sunday, at 08:30 local time, after an explosion on one of the lower cargo decks, a fire was detected. The exact cause and details are unknown. However, even after several days, the fire could not be extinguished, although several hundred firefighters, who have helicopters and boats at their disposal, are trying to extinguish it.

Experts believe that the temperature on board, probably exceeding 1000 degrees, damaged the steel structures of the ship, built by Northrop Grumman, the US military concern, and cost about 750 million dollars.

The AR news Agency assumes even more severe consequences: the 255-meter vessel may sink, but it still has several million liters of fuel on board. This could cause an environmental disaster. The US coast guard has already called for the help of specialists to eliminate oil spills from the surface of the water.

The threat of one of the largest losses in history

In the past two years, the warship has remained in its home port of San Diego and has been undergoing upgrades that are estimated to cost more than $ 250 million. The ship was to be converted to receive new American F-35B aircraft.

During the modernization work, there were only 160 people on Board instead of the usual 1000. Therefore, fortunately, the fire did not take any human lives. At least 59 people, including 36 crew members and 23 civilians, suffered burns and carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as minor injuries.

On the one hand, the fact that there were few people on board was a happy combination of circumstances. The fire spread throughout the ship, because, according to the American military newspaper Stars and Stripes, the fire extinguishing system was just in the process of re-equipment and could not be activated.

If the landing ship Bonhomme Richard is really completely destroyed, this, according to the editorial Board of Stars and Stripes, will be one of the largest losses in the history of the US Navy.

The ship, which came off the stocks in 1997 and entered service in the fall of 1998, has a length of 257 meters and a displacement of about 40 thousand tons. The American aircraft carrier Lexington, in 1942, was attacked by Japanese troops and sank during a battle in the coral sea off the coast of Australia, had a length of 270 meters and a displacement of 42 thousand tons.

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