A US Navy report concluded that serious failures within the military chain of command allowed a fire to destroy a US warship, according to US media.
The USS Bonhomme Richard burned down for four days in San Diego, California in July 2020. The fire injured 40 sailors and 23 civilians.
The new report identifies 36 sailors, including five admirals, as having contributed to the ship’s loss.
It also identifies multiple cascaded faults in the fire response.
Arson allegations have been filed against a sailor who allegedly started the fire out of animosity towards the commanders, but the new report notes that the lack of response allowed the fire to rapidly grow in size.
“Although the fire was triggered by arson, the ship was lost due to the inability to extinguish the fire,” wrote US 3rd Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Scott Conn, who is overseeing the investigations.
The US media say the report exposes multiple mistakes made in the first minutes of the stake.
Troops failed to alert others of the fire for a full 10 minutes after spotting it and never activated the fire foam system, according to the report.
“A pattern of failed drills, minimal crew participation, a lack of basic firefighting knowledge” left sailors unprepared and unable to properly coordinate firefighting efforts with civilian officials, he found.
The report has not yet been made public and it is unclear whether any of the 36 individuals were punished by the commanders.
The Pentagon has not yet responded to a BBC News request for comment.
The 40,000-ton, $ 1 billion (£ 716 million) USS Bonhomme Richard was commissioned in 1998 and was one of the few amphibious vessels from which an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft could take off.
The Navy has since decided to dismantle and scrape the ship due to the damage.
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