Explosion, fire on guided missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf injures five

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Five civilian contractors have been injured after an explosion and fire onboard the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf at 9:25 a.m. today.

A large explosion erupted from the ship's berthing area where welding work was being conducted during a stop in Norfolk, Virginia. A fire broke out two decks below main deck, but was quickly extinguished. The injured were taken to Norfolk General Hospital for treatment to injuries not believed to be life-threatening, according to John Kowalczyk, a spokesman for BAE Systems Ship Repair, who were conducting the work.

He added that the fire appeared to be an isolated incident. The ship has been laid up for repairs and modernizing since May.


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