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USS Bonhomme Richard on fire

brihard

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It will be interesting to read the investigation; kind of hard to imagine there was anything left for physical evidence.
Probably a ton of statement evidence- speak to enough people, they probably got a good sense of where it started and generally how it spread. I’m guessing that if it started due to active work being done, a couple people probably know how it started.
 

daftandbarmy

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Well now..... anyone else hear of a disgruntled coworker costing your work billions?

Maybe not disgruntled so much as slightly over confident. It was the Queen's Bank too... extra points:

What Was Barings Bank?​

Barings Banks was a British merchant bank that collapsed in 1995 after one of its traders, 28-year-old Nick Leeson operating in its Singapore office, lost $1.3 billion in unauthorized trades.


Founded in 1762, Barings was among the largest and most stable banks in the world. However, thanks to unauthorized speculation in futures contracts and other speculative dealings, it ceased operations on February 26, 1995. The direct cause was its inability to meet its cash requirements following those unauthorized trades. Even efforts by the Bank of England to arrange a rescue package could not avert the inevitable collapse.


 

OldSolduer

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Probably a ton of statement evidence- speak to enough people, they probably got a good sense of where it started and generally how it spread. I’m guessing that if it started due to active work being done, a couple people probably know how it started.
Just a guess but I would venture that there may be forensic evidence as well.
 

Navy_Pete

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Just a guess but I would venture that there may be forensic evidence as well.
Will be interesting to see for sure; the fire itself will destroy/mask a lot of the forensic evidence, and then the fire fighting efforts do the same. If they are charging someone with arson would assume it's pretty definitive evidence, so probably some combination of eye witness that corroborates the forensic evidence. Can be really tricky though when everything is gone, and not really sure how you would use forensic evidence alone to tell the difference between an intention fire and accidental fire due to negligence on an industrial site with accelerants and ignition sources present.

Especially if the fire was underventilated at some point; we still can't actually model that or make any accurate predictions on what happens. Similarly, hard to actually predict flashover, lots of experiements where they try and achieve it, and hit the normal indicators people use for flashover, without the compartment actually flashing over. Gets really complicated quickly, and generally live fire science experiements are more of a 'close enough' than an exact replica when you do repeat runs. 🤷‍♂️
 

SeaKingTacco

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I wonder what the sentence is for burning down a billion dollar warship?
 

MARS

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Wow. The USN points fingers, hard.
I know, right??

But then the more I read, the more I realized that a whole lot of Responsible Authorities appeared to have no fucks to give that day. Like this part here:

Although the CO, XO, CMC, [Chief Engineer], and DCA were all present on the pier prior to the explosion,” the investigator continued, “they failed to establish command and control of the situation and did not lead action to integrate fire response efforts.

“Instead, Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group THREE (ESG-3), the ship’s operational commander who has no assigned role or responsibility in response to a shipboard fire during a maintenance availability, stepped into a command and control vacuum to align the various ship, installation, and external organizations by employing a make-shift emergency response organizational structure.”
 

SeaKingTacco

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I know, right??

But then the more I read, the more I realized that a whole lot of Responsible Authorities appeared to have no fucks to give that day. Like this part here:
It appears to me that the USN, in this situation, had an excess of “Responsible Authorities” and not nearly enough trained shipboard firefighters…
 

Colin Parkinson

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US Navy ID's 36 People for Discipline in BHR Loss​

Failures up and down the chain of command led to the loss of the $2 Billion ship. Everyone failed and 36 people including civilian NAVSEA personal are named for discipline.

 

NavyShooter

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Smoke seen at 0811 hrs.

Fire recorded in POOD's log at 0820

Bells heard at 0822.

FIRST WET STUFF ON HOT STUFF -0951 hrs.

"This image captures the first time agent was applied to fire on 12 July 2020 as SDFD teams applied firefighting water to the radiant fire in Upper 'V' at approximately 0951."

Over an hour and a half from first reported fire to first water on fire....wow...
 

RedFive

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I'm not trained in damage control or firefighting, and I understand the ship was on minimal manning, but the first efforts were made by the city fire department? I'd be seriously embarrassed if I were a member of that ship's company.

EDIT: or the base fire department.
 

Navy_Pete

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I'm not trained in damage control or firefighting, and I understand the ship was on minimal manning, but the first efforts were made by the city fire department? I'd be seriously embarrassed if I were a member of that ship's company.

EDIT: or the base fire department.
Depends what they mean by minimum manning, but alongside home port the plan is frequently to use the base fire department to attack the fire, with the first response by the duty watch to basically evacuate people and confine the fire. This is a big ass ship on a big base, but the FD is probably on scene less than 10 minute of getting the call, and is who would normally be the ones to attack the fire on our ships alongside when on minimum mannging (usually after hours/weekends).

When you are doing major maintenance the crew is supposed to monitor the impacts of the fire suppression/damage control defects and figure out a way to mitigate, which can include changing the work plan to limit the amount of concurrent jobs, limiting fuel sources, making sure you can close some doors/hatches in key points to act as fire breaks, etc. Sometimes that also means beefing up the duty watch so you can have dedicated attack teams from the ship that know the actual state of the ship, but not really sure how they run things for that kind of maintenance period. Expect that will be in the detailed report,

From the sounds of it, that didn't happen, and if the local hose stations weren't working they probably had to manually run a big hose from somewhere else and set up a few jumpers off that, and that all takes time (especially when no one actually takes charge).

This is a complete mess, but I could see something similar happening to our ships alongside. The MSE departments are way undercrewed and overrun with the workload on the CPFs, and can be a lot of pressure to just get one with repairs due to the insane fleetsched that far underplans the time for reactivation following the dockings.
 

NavyShooter

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I'll note that because of the regular petty thievery at ISI that's been experienced over the years, the RCN pulls off all of our fire-fighting gear when we send a ship into refit there.

We had a couple of ships come out with every one of the hoses on all hose stations requiring replacement due to the hose-ends being cut off (a pound of brass each, times 4 hoses = about 8 pounds of brass per hose station, which ends up being worth about $15-17 in scrap metal. Add to that all the lazy-rod covers, and anything else brass that could be fit into a lunch-box, and well, you end up with a decent amount of scrap brass to steal.

Add to that, the ISI workers using our fire extinguishers for their sentry duties, and not bringing them back...or just taking them completely off the ship when they leave, and you have a big problem.

Some of the crew berthing areas end up having to be locked so that ISI workers don't take a nap during their work day, and basically, there's a whole lot of extra work that goes into getting these spaces secured, then opened for 'work' during a Docking at ISI.

If one of our ships undergoing an 'unmanned' refit in ISI caught fire, we'd be in a similar state.
 

Colin Parkinson

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one of my duties when being a Commissionaire at Seaspan ship yard is to watch for theft, and vehicle traffic in and out is tightly controlled. Including tools going out the gate only with permission from their supervisor. Seaspan takes that pretty seriously in Vancouver, can't speak for Esquimalt.
 
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