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Navy creates fire safety group following fire aboard USS Bonhomme Richard

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) Fire
Posted at 6:46 PM, Dec 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-14 21:59:30-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The Navy says the fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard could have been "preventable." Now a new group has been put together to help avoid future fires on naval ships.

On July 12, 2020, chaos erupted aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard. Black smoke filled the sky as crews rushed to put out the flames.

The Navy later released a report. Investigators say the ship's crew and command failed to handle the blaze properly.

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Naval Sea Systems Command recently announced a new fire safety group had been assembled to prevent fires, like the one on the San Diego-based ship, in the future. The "Industrial Fire Safety Assurance Group" will put together policies to avoid future risks and develop a general fire reporting process for all naval ships.

According to NAVSEA, the Navy suffered 14 major shipboard fires in the last 12 years. This resulted in the loss of two vessels, including the USS Bonhomme Richard. The damages totaled $6 billion.

The San Diego-based ship was undergoing repairs at the time. It has since been decommissioned.

Navy officials say it could have cost up to $3 billion to repair the damage from the fire.