Fire Aboard Navy Guided Missile Cruiser Injures 5 In Virginia

Saturday, September 15th 2007, 6:35 pm
By: News On 6

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) _ A small fire broke out aboard a Navy guided missile cruiser Saturday, injuring five civilian workers, officials said.

The workers were taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known.

The USS Leyte Gulf was undergoing repairs and a renovation when the fire started Saturday morning, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Bruce Evans said. The blaze was put out by a portable extinguisher about 15 minutes after it began.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known, though Evans said it appeared to be an industrial accident.

The ship, a Ticonderoga-class cruiser, was docked at BAE Systems Ship Repair Systems. The fire occurred two decks below the main deck, Evans said. No Navy personnel were injured, he said.

A message left by The Associated Press at Naval Station Norfolk was not returned.

The 567-foot warship carries two SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters and its armaments include Tomahawk missiles, torpedoes and Harpoon missile launchers.

Leyte Gulf is based in Norfolk and carries a crew of more than 380 officers and enlisted personnel.