Maine fire officials work to find cause of nuclear submarine fire

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May 24, 2012, 9:58 am

(NECN: Justin Michaels, Kittery, Maine) - Firefighters continue to search for the cause of a fire that broke out on a nuclear-powered submarine at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The five injured seven people, including five firefighters.

Despite the fact that the fire happened inside a nuclear submarine, officials insist there was never any threat to the public.

Fire crews have been leaving Portsmouth Naval Shipyard all Thursday morning, after the fire broke out inside the U.S.S. Miami late Wednesday night.

"The fire and subsequent damage was limited to the forward compartment spaces only which includes crew living and command and control spaces and the torpedo room. There were no weapons aboard the ship," Rear Admiral Richard Breckenridge said.

The major cause for concern is that the Miami is a $900 million Los Angeles class nuclear submarine.

"The nuclear propulsion spaces were physical isolated from the forward compartment early during initial response. The ships reactor has been shut down for over two months and remains in a safe and stable condition throughout the event. The propulsion spaces remain habitable and were continuously manned throughout the night," Beckenridge said.

When active, Miami has 13 officers and a crew of more than 120 Navy personnel.

"All of U.S.S. Miami's crew supporting work and recovery have been accounted for. Seven people were injured during the fire fighting response. However their injuries were minor in nature. These personnel were either treated on scene or transported to a local medical facility for further treatment and have been released," Beckenridge said.

Tags: new hampshire, Fire, maine, Portsmouth, Kittery, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, emergency crews, Justin Michaels, USS Miami SSN 755, Los Angeles class submarine, USS Miami
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