Report on USS George Washington fire posted online
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The USS George Washington’s chief engineer spotted 300 gallons of flammable oil illegally stored below the aircraft carrier’s deck plates and ordered it moved.
But 90 gallons were stashed in an uptake space instead, later becoming fuel for the May 22 blaze that cost the Navy $70 million and several months of ship repairs.
Those and other details about the fire are now available online on the Pacific Fleet’s Web site. The unclassified report, posted in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the San Diego Union-Tribune, cites shortcomings that led to the fire, including an environment where 90 gallons of hazardous material could be "stowed within the ship with little likelihood of discovery."
"This fire was entirely preventable," Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Robert Willard stated in the report, calling many to task, including senior leadership and those associated with fire prevention, readiness and training and firefighting management.
For the complete report, visit www.cpf.navy.mil/foia_rr.shtml.