A U.S. Navy ship anchored at a naval base in San Diego was evacuated on Sunday due to a fire, and about twenty people ended up in a hospital with minor injuries, military officials and the fire service reported.
The fire was followed by an explosion, and pillars of thick, pungent-smelling smoke billowed from the ship for hours, firefighters announced, extinguishing the fire from a dozen special vessels.
Seventeen sailors and four civilians were taken to hospital with minor injuries, the Navy said, adding that all 160 people on board were safe.
In regular conditions, the crew includes about 1,000 people.
The exact cause and location of the fire have not yet been determined, but so far there are no indications that it was set. The fire broke out below the waterline, making it harder to put out and more likely to spread to the fuel system.
The Bonhomme Richard is used to transport U.S. Navy helicopters and infantry, has been involved in several military operations, and has appeared in two films – “Battleship” starring Liam Neeson and Rihanna and “Act of Courage”.