Eighteen sailors injured after huge explosion on US military ship

The Bonhomme Richard ship sent up huge plumes of smoke which could be seen across San Diego (Picture: AP/Getty) A group of sailors have been injured following an explosion onboard a military ship in California, said Navy officials.

A total of 18 sailors were rushed to hospital with ‘non-life threatening injuries,’ after a fire tore through the ship at Naval Base San Diego on Sunday.

The blaze was reported shortly before 9am on USS Bonhomme Richard, followed by the explosion, said Mike Raney, a spokesman for Naval Surface Force, US Pacific Fleet.

Footage from the scene shows firefighters tackling the blaze as the ship sent up huge plumes of dark smoke, which was visible around San Diego.

Eighteen sailors were injured (Picture: AP) Emergency crews were rushed to the scene to spray the ship with water as it was quickly evacuated.

San Diego Fire Department added the sailors were being treated ‘for a variety of injuries’ and that the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Previously, officials said at least one person was treated for smoke inhalation but it is thought the injuries suffered are minor.

It was not immediately known where on the 840-foot (255-meter) amphibious assault vessel the blast and the fire occurred.

The huge plumes of smoke could be seen for miles (Picture: Getty)

The blaze was reported just after 9am before it exploded (Picture: Getty)

Huge crews of firefighters were deployed to the scene (Picture: AFP)

It is not yet known what caused the blaze (Picture: AP)

Boats spraying water cannons could be seen around the ship (Picture: AP)

It is thought all injuries suffered by sailors are minor (Picture: Getty)

An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway (Picture: AFP) Officials are not yet sure what caused the fire but the Bonhomme Richard, whose home port is in San Diego, was undergoing routine maintenance at the time it broke out.

About 160 sailors and officers were on board, Raney said, which is far fewer than the thousand that would typically be on the ship when it’s on active duty.

The ship has the capacity to deploy and land helicopters, smaller boats and amphibious vehicles.

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