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Sailors disciplined for roles in fire aboard George Washington

By TRAVIS J. TRITTEN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 29, 2008

Six sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington received nonjudicial punishments for a shipboard fire in May that caused $70 million in damage and injured 37 crewmembers, the Pacific Fleet command said Thursday.

Four sailors were found guilty of violating a lawful order and hiding hazardous materials in direct violation of the aircraft carrier’s safety regulations, said Lt. Cmdr. John Filostrat, spokesman for the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Two noncommissioned officers were found guilty of negligence and dereliction of duty for not properly supervising the workspace, Filostrat said.

The Pacific Fleet refused to release the names and ranks of the sailors disciplined, citing privacy concerns. Filostrat said details of the punishments are an "internal matter" of the George Washington and would not be released.

"All appropriate administrative and disciplinary actions have been completed," he said. "No courts-martial are being convened."

The Navy said the May 22 fire appears to have been started by unauthorized cigarette smoking near improperly stored oil containers.