At least 18 sailors were taken to a San Diego area hospital after suffering minor injuries in a large, ongoing blaze aboard the military ship USS Bonhomme Richard on Sunday, Navy officials said.
San Diego firefighters arrived at the three-alarm fire Sunday morning to find thick black smoke billowing hundreds of feet into the air from several points along the 257-meter (844-foot ) amphibious assault ship docked at the San Diego Naval base, according to live video footage of the scene.
Emergency crews in boats were alongside the burning ship, spraying it with hoses.
“18 Sailors have been transferred to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries,” Naval Surface Forces wrote on Twitter on Sunday afternoon, adding “The entire crew is off the ship and all are accounted.”
Some 160 sailors were aboard when the fire was reported around 8:30 a.m. local time, Naval Surface Forces said.
Earlier Sunday, the San Diego Fire-Rescue department wrote on Twitter that there had been an explosion at the ship, and they were working with Federal Fire to clear the area.
Colin Stowell, head of the San Diego fire department, told CNN that the fire could go on “for days” and “just burn down to the waterline.”
All San Diego Fire Rescue responders were accounted for as of 11:19 a.m. (6:19 p.m. GMT), the department said on Twitter.
Around noon local time, the department said all its personnel had been instructed to exit the pier, while aerial video footage showed the blaze appeared to grow.