Nuclear sub fire doused, leaves seven with minor injuries

A fire aboard the USS Miami, docked in a Maine shipyard, was put out Thursday morning. The nuclear reactor was shutdown, and no weapons were on board.

REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Jim Cleveland/Handout
The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Miami (SSN 755) enters dry dock March 15 to begin an engineered overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Fire broke out on May 23 on the nuclear-powered submarine. The cause of the fire is not yet known, but the vessel's nuclear reactor was not involved.

A fire on a nuclear-powered submarine at a US shipyard injured seven people, including five firefighters, but did not affect the reactor, which was not active.

It was not clear how many people were aboard the USS Miami SSN 755 on Wednesday evening at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine.

Rear Adm. Richard Breckenridge, commander of Submarine Group Two, said the fire was out Thursday morning and the shipyard was open as usual. He said the three shipyard firefighters, two civilian firefighters and two crew members received minor injuries and were in good shape.

Breckenridge called their efforts heroic, saying the extreme heat and smoke in the contained spaces made it challenging. "Their efforts clearly minimized the severity of this event," he told a news conference.

Breckenridge said the fire started in the four forward compartments, which include living and command and control spaces. The sub's reactor, isolated in another part of the sub, had been shut down for a few months and was unaffected.

Breckenridge said it "remains in a safe and stable condition."

No weapons were on board.

Breckenridge said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The USS Miami has a crew of 13 and 120 enlisted personnel. It arrived at the shipyard on March 1 to undergo maintenance work.

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