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Fighter jet explodes on aircraft carrier; injured sailors airlifted to naval hospital in San Diego

March 31, 2011 |  7:31 am

 

Four sailors were recovering at a San Diego naval hospital after a Marine F/A-18C Hornet exploded into flames aboard the carrier John C. Stennis on Wednesday.

Ten people were hurt. Four of the sailors were airlifted to Naval Medical Center San Diego, where they were listed in stable condition, the Navy said. The other sailors were treated by medical personnel aboard the ship. The pilot aboard the F/A-18 was unhurt.

The sailors were working on the flight deck during a routine training mission about 100 miles off Southern California. The jet was preparing for launch. The fire was put out quickly before it could spread, the Navy said.

The Stennis' home port is Bremerton, Wash. The jet is from Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101, based at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.

Damage to the jet was estimated at more than $1 million, but the carrier did not sustain significant damage. The incident is under investigation, the Navy said.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

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