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11 injured in fire aboard ship at California naval base

Eleven people suffered minor injuries after an explosion and fire Sunday on board a ship at Naval Base San Diego, military officials said.

The blaze was reported shortly before 9 a.m. local time on USS Bonhomme Richard, said Krishna Jackson, the base’s public information officer.

Eleven people were treated for “non-life threatening injuries,” Jackson said. She didn’t have additional details.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Jackson said she didn’t know where on the 255-metre amphibious assault vessel the blast and fire occurred.

The flames sent up a huge plume of dark smoke visible around San Diego.

San Diego is the Bonhomme Richard’s home port, and it was undergoing routine maintenance at the time of the fire.

Jackson estimated about 200 sailors and officers were on board — far fewer than if the ship was on active duty.

The ship has the capacity to deploy and land helicopters, smaller boats and amphibious vehicles.

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