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Eighteen injured in US navy ship fire

Eighteen injured in US navy ship fire

At least 18 US sailors have been taken to hospital after suffering minor injuries in a large, ongoing blaze on board a military ship at San Diego.

Firefighters arrived at the blaze on Sunday morning to find thick black smoke billowing hundreds of metres into the air from several points along the 250m USS Bonhomme Richard.

The amphibious assault ship is docked at the San Diego Naval base.

Emergency crews in boats were alongside the burning ship, spraying it with hoses.

Naval Surface Forces said some 160 sailors were on board when the fire was reported around 8.30am local time.

"18 Sailors have been transferred to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries," Naval Surface Forces wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

"The entire crew is off the ship and all are accounted (for)."

The San Diego Fire-Rescue department wrote on Twitter that there had been an explosion at the ship and they were working to clear the area.