Sailors, Civilians Injured in Blaze on Navy Warship off San Diego

At least 17 sailors, four civilians suffered injuries from the fire.
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More than a dozen sailors and a few civilians were rushed to hospitals in California after a fire broke out on the Navy ship, the USS Bonhomme Richard, on Sunday, San Diego fire officials and the Navy said.

The Navy gave various numbers of those injured earlier in the day, at first 11, then 18, but later said that 17 sailors were hurt and four civilians. None, it said, has life-threatening injuries. 

About 160 were on the ship at the time the fire broke out, according to the Navy.

"All inport ships have been contacted and directed to provide fire parties to possibly assist with firefighting efforts," said the Navy over Twitter in the afternoon local time, adding that the ongoing blaze led to other nearby ships, the USS Fitzgerald and USS Russell, getting moved further away.

The fire could go on for days, "down to the water line," San Diego Fire Chief Colin Stowell told CNN on Sunday.

The USS Bonhomme Richard -- described by the military as an amphibious warship -- was moored pier-side at the Navy base in San Diego, said the Navy, adding that it was undergoing maintenance at the time. The ship has a crew capacity of about 1,000.

Officials told the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper that little is known yet about the cause and extent of the damage. Images showed huge plumes of dark smoke flowing from the ship and there were reports of a boom before the fire started.

An email to San Diego Fire Rescue was not immediately returned to TheStreet, which sought comment on the status of the fire and cause.

San Diego firefighters began responding to what became a three-alarm fire around at around 9 a.m. local time PT, according to the fire department and Navy.

"Seventeen Sailors and four civilians are being treated for non-life threatening injuries at a local hospital. All inport ships have been contacted and directed to provide fire parties to possibly assist with firefighting efforts," said the official twitter account of Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet on Sunday. 

The ship is 844-feet long and docked at the San Diego Naval base, according to reports.

This story has been updated.