11 Injured in Aircraft Carrier Fire

[image via Wikipedia]

Two of the 11 victims of a jet engine fire aboard the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier remain hospitalized, one with a fractured leg and the other with a puncture wound to the chest.

In all, eight sailors, one Marine and two civilian contractors sustained injuries in the incident that happened Wednesday afternoon, while the carrier was about 100 miles off the coast of San Diego, according to the U.S. Navy.

The right engine of a F/A-18C Hornet jet failed and a fire started during takeoff preparations, Navy officials said. At the time, sailors were training for takeoffs and landings. [Source]

Captain Ronald Reis, the commanding officer, said in a news conference that “the fire and explosion appear to have been caused by debris that was loose in one of the engines. The explosion severed a fuel line, sending fire and thick, black smoke over the deck, Reis said.” [Source]

None of the injuries are life threatening. The investigation is expected to take up to six months.

Built by Newport News Shipbuilding Company, the carrier was commissioned in 1995 and has a crew size of 5,000. It cost $3.5 billion to build.