San Diego Sailor Faces Charges Over 2020 US Navy Ship Fire - Reports

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 30th July, 2021) San Diego sailor has been charged in connection to a fire on the United States Navy ship Bonhomme Richard in July 2020, the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper reported, citing the Navy.

"On July 29, charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice were brought forth against a Navy Sailor in response to evidence found during the criminal investigation into the fire started on USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) on July 12, 2020," Cmdr. Sean Robertson, a Navy spokesman, was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

He noted that the defendant, who was a crew member of the USS Bonhomme Richard at the time, was accused of setting fire to the ship, the news said. The sailor's name and his possible motives were not released.

According to the newspaper, the sailor's lawyer Gary Barthel confirmed his client was charged, but said he denied responsibility for the fire.

In December 2020, the US Navy announced that the USS Bonhomme Richard would be decommissioned due to significant damage sustained in the fire.

The fire occurred on July 12, 2020. At the time of the incident, there were about 160 sailors out of the crew of 1,000 on board the ship. About 60 firefighters and sailors sustained injuries from the smoke and high temperatures. The fire was extinguished only four days later. The investigators suspected that arson could have been the cause of the incident.