San Diego County’s Air Pollution Control District revealed in a report that the smoke from the USS Bonhomme Richard is toxic.
This report contradicts what Navy officials initially told the public, said a CBS8 report.
Moreover, the state’s Office of Environmental Hazard Assessment also reviewed the samples taken of the air.
They believe that the level of chemical Benzene in the toxic smoke may cause health concerns.
Moreover, the smoke also contained chloromethane and acetonitrile.
Areas Of Concerns
The report said, one of the sites where they took the samples is Sherman Elementary, hence now the place is an area of concern.
Residents from as far away as Vista reported seeing smoke and smelling a plastic or electrical-like odor.
The report added people who live in Barrio Logan, Logan Heights, and National City are especially concerned.
Advocates claimed these areas have suffered the most because of the air pollution from the fire.
Many families went into lockdown because of the smoke.
The advocate said:
“I began hearing from elders in the community that they couldn’t breathe.
They had to close their windows in the heat.
They were struggling and had very little support and no one was communicating with them.”
The Contingency Plan
A group has been created to ask that a contingency plan be put in place in case another fire.
They are also calling on the Navy to improve communication with neighboring residents.
The the USS Bonhomme Richard blazed for five straight days.
The firefighting effort resulted in more than 20 injuries, counting both the sailors and local firefighters.
The fire was finally extinguished on July 16th.
Fire During Scheduled Maintenance
Navy officials claimed that it became apparent that fire occurred in the ships during maintenance.
The U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard was the seventh warship to catch fire while undergoing maintenance in the past 10 years.
Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck claimed “human error or equipment failure” is the usual cause.
Sobeck is the Commander of Expeditionary Strike Group Three.