Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fire aboard Navy ship Stennis injures 10

Navy personnel aboard a carrier off the coast of California were injured late Tuesday after a fighter jet caught fire.

Ten sailors were working on the flight deck near an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to a training squadron when the aircraft experienced engine failure and caught fire.

The sailors were treated by medics on board. Four servicemen airlifted to the Naval Medical Center in San Diego are in stable condition.

The blaze was immediately extinguished and caused no significant damage the ship, the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered supercarrier USS John C. Stennis.

Officials are investigating the cause of the fire.

The carrier, which has the unique ability to circle the world without refueling, was conducting fleet replacement squadron qualifications when the accident took place.

"I am extremely proud of our crew," Capt. Ronald Reis, commanding officer of the Stennis, said in a statement. "The flight deck of an aircraft carrier is an inherently dangerous place, but our personnel are well-trained to operate safely in this environment."

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