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Seven Injured in Nuclear Submarine Fire [VIDEO]

The blaze broke out Wednesday at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

KITTERY, Maine – Seven people were injured in a fire on a nuclear submarine at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on Wednesday night.

The fire occurred in a forward compartment of the USS Miami SSN 755 that is primarily used for living areas and command and control spaces. The ship's reactor was not operating at the time and was reportedly not affected. Navy officials say it's too soon to tell if the $900 million submarine will be salvageable.

The cause of the fire remains unknown. An investigation into the cause has been launched, but is expected to take a long time to complete. Officials aren't saying if human error has been ruled out or if the focus is on mechanical issues.

The fire was reported at 5:41 p.m. Wednesday, , according to the shipyard. The nuclear propulsion spaces were physically isolated early in the event from the forward compartment fire and remained safe and stable throughout the event.

Capt. Bryant Fuller, the shipyard's commander, said there were no weapons on board, and all personnel were accounted for.

Seven people were injured in the blaze, according to the shipyard, including three shipyard firefighters, two ship's force crew members, and two civilian firefighters providing support. All seven were treated and released and were said to be doing well. Their names are not being released.

Firefighters from numerous Seacoast communities, including Portsmouth, Kittery, York, South Berwick, Somersworth, Rollinsford, Rye and New Castle, provided mutual aid. An engine and foam truck were requested from Logan Airport in Boston. State, local and federal authorities were also notified.

The shipyard gates remained open throughout the ordeal, and the workforce is expected to report to work as scheduled.

According to the shipyard's website, the USS Miami arrived here on March 1 for maintenance work and system upgrades. It has a crew of 13 officers and 120 enlisted personnel. The website says the Miami is the third Navy ship named for the city of Miami and the fifth "Improved" Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered submarine. Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, the Miami was commissioned on June 30, 1990, and its home port is Groton, Conn.

edward clark May 26, 2012 at 02:48 PM
things happen .must say crew must feel horrible ,thanks for servtce ed clark
Brian St. Onge May 26, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Seeing as how all taxpayers foot the bill for the military, all of us have a damn good reason to know what goes on other than being privy to classified information.
Mario Balzic May 27, 2012 at 12:31 AM
The book you reference is all SPECULATION. There is NO evidence to indicate there was an explosion from an external source such as a torpedo. As for the telescoping, that WILL happen most likely where the reactor compartment meets the operations compartment and the diameter of the pressure hull changes. The transition piece is the weakest part of the pressure hull and coincidentally, under the most stress as the boat dives deeper. The reason why Thresher did not telescope is because it flooded first in the place most likely TO telescope, the engineering spaces. The remaining compartments forward of the reactor DID implode as the internal bulkheads failed. The pressure hull can take twice as much pressure before it fails than an interior watertight bulkhead. On Thresher, the pressure hull was about 3 inches thick, with the interior bulkheads only half that, or 1.5" thick. That means that if the pressure hull fails, the internal bulkheads will follow almost immediately. By the way, the torpedo room in Scorpion is amidships with the tubes extending out each side at a 20 degree angle, just below the sail. The bow compartment is all berthing and storage space and the sonar dome sticks out in front covered with a fiberglass shell. If there was an internal explosion in the torpedo room, it would have been literally in the middle of the boat, right on top of the compartment where the battery is located. The book you reference is wrong on SO many counts...
Sub Mariner May 30, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Funny things is the military members also fit this bill you talk of.
Sub Mariner May 30, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Jaydee, No one died unlike the Forrestal so I wouldn't classify it as more severe. Reported temps of the hull were between 400-500 degress. Imagine how hot it was inside and thats probably why it was difficult to extinguish.

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