Steam Leak On Sub Tender USS Frank Cable
(04 Dec: My most recent update on the story can be found here.)
[Intel Source: The Sub Report] There's breaking news out of Guam of an in-port "steam-related accident" aboard USS Frank Cable (AS 40):
KUAM News has confirmed the Guam Fire Department was contacted this evening at the request of the U.S. Navy to transport victims to the hospital after an accident aboard the U.S.S. Frank Cable. GFD spokesperson Phyllis Blas says the agency was alerted around 8pm Friday to respond to an incident on the 646-foot Submarine Tender, which is moored at Naval Base Guam in Sumay.You can download the Navy press release from this site (or by clicking here). Our prayers are with the injured Sailors, their families, and shipmates.
Upon arrival, medics transported a number of sailors from Polaris Point to Naval Hospital in Agana Heights. Navy spokesman Lieutenant Donnell Evans says in a press release that eight sailors were injured during maintenance operations following a steam leak aboard the ship. The conditions of the injured is unknown at this time.
Staying at PD...
Update 0645 02 Dec: Five of the injured Sailors are in critical condition, and another is listed as serious. It appears that they'll be flown to Tripler in Honolulu, and then maybe to the Burn Center at Brooke AMC in San Antonio.
From the number and severity of the injuries, it sounds like it was a steam line rupture in the Engine Room. This is one of the scariest possible casualties for people who work in a ship's engineering spaces, and while they might not be as catastrophic on an oil-fired surface ship as they can be on a nuclear-powered sub, as you can see, they're still bad. Some relatively recent examples of even more deadly steam accidents were when 10 Sailors were killed on USS Iwo Jima (LPH 2) in 1990, and the steam leak that killed 10 submariners on the French submarine FS Émeraude (S 604) in 1994.
Update 2104 03 Dec: Updates to the story are here and here, as well as this update from the Pacific Daily News that says the injured Sailors have been flown to Hawaii:
11 a.m., Dec. 4 - A nine-member Army Burn Center Flight Team are in Hawaii to care for six sailors injured Friday during a steam leak aboard the USS Frank Cable, which was docked at Polaris Point.All we can do for now it to continue to pray for their recovery, and for comfort to their families.
Military officials said the sailors suffered steam burns to 20 to 70 percent of their bodies. At least five sailors were on lung ventilators, said Army Col. Dave Barillo, a critical care surgeon and the officer in charge of the team from Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
The sailors were injured when a steam line from a boiler room in the ship's lower deck ruptured, according to Navy officials on Guam. The men were flown to Hawaii for further treatment.