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article imageSeven injured as nuclear submarine USS Miami catches fire

By William Charles Baker     May 24, 2012 in World
Kittery - An extremely dangerous fire started on the USS Miami a nuclear powered submarine docked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine on Wednesday evening. Had the reactor on board been in service and reached there could have been disastrous results.
The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time and occurred while the ship was in dock for routine maintenance. It was reported that smoke and heat from the fire was in tight locations for firefighters to reach but most of the damage was in the command area and crew quarters.
Boston Metro Desk reports: “The fire spread to spaces within the submarine that were difficult to access. The heat and smoke contained in these confined spaces made it challenging for firefighters to combat the blaze,” Rear Admiral Rick Breckenridge, commander of the submarine group that includes the USS Miami, said today in a statement. Breckenridge said the fire aboard the Miami was out by Thursday morning and the shipyard was open as usual. He said the injured were three shipyard firefighters, two civilian firefighters, and two crew members.”
The reactor was located in another part of the ship but the effort of the firefighters was considered heroic in light of the circumstances and the area in which they had to work. The nuclear reactor on board had been shut down for a few months but was reported to be unaffected and in stable condition. U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) issued a statement commending the efforts of those involved.
SeaCoastOnline reports: “Senator Snowe also delivered remarks about the situation on the Senate Floor, commending the workers at the Shipyard and firefighters from numerous surrounding towns who responded to the fire.”
The USS Miami is described as an attack submarine capable of carrying Tomahawk cruise missiles and torpedoes. The commander for the shipyard issued a statement concerning the events and conditions as the clean up and investigation continued.
News12 reports: “The USS Miami's reactor was not operating at any time the fire broke out and remained unaffected and stable throughout, said Capt. Bryant Fuller, commander for the shipyard, which is in Kittery, Maine.”
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