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8 Hurt in Navy Boat Work Accident

Thursday, August 22, 2013

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An explosion during maintenance work at a Navy boat house sent eight people to the hospital on Tuesday (Aug. 20).

The explosion occured around 9:00 a.m. ET in a boat house at the Naval Weapons Station Earle in New Jersey while personnel were doing routine maintenance on a 27-foot aluminum utility boat, according to a statement from the Navy.

Seven sailors and one Department of Defense civilian firefighter were injured. Of the eight injured, only one sailor remains hospitalized and has had surgery for a broken arm, the Navy said.

Naval Weapons Station Earle
U.S. Navy

An explosion during boat maintenance at Naval Weapons Station Earle sent eight people to the hospital and blew a small hole in the roof of the boat house.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation. Damage was contained to the boat house area, and ammunition and ordnance operations at the weapons station were not affected.

Smoke Inhalation Injuries

"It was a mishap as a result of work being done on a utility boat," Beth Baker, director of public affairs for Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, told several media outlets.

The boat is used to support port operations at the installation.

"I don't know how many were in the building, but the one who suffered a broken arm was in the building. He was one of the ones who was doing routine maintenance on the boat," said Baker.

Baker said the explosion blew a small hole in the roof, the Asbury Park Press reported.

"Even though there was no fire, there was a good amount of smoke or fumes from the explosion. Most of the injuries to the group were smoke inhalation," Baker said.

About NWS Earle

Naval Weapons Station Earle provides ordnance for Atlantic Fleet Carrier and Expeditionary Strike Groups and supports strategic Department of Defense ordnance requirements.

Located about 76 miles from Philadelphia and 47 miles from New York City, NWS Earle has a combined workforce of over 1,500 civilian, military and contractor personnel. NWS Earle is home to over 20 tenant commands, the largest belonging to Navy Munitions Command.


Tagged categories: Explosions; Maintenance programs; Shipyards; U.S. Navy

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