NORFOLK--One person remains hospitalized and seven others have been released from area hospitals following an explosion in a boat house on board Naval Weapons Station Earle Tuesday.
Navy spokesperson Michael Mink said the explosion occurred around 9 a.m. while personnel were doing routine maintenance on a 27-foot aluminum utility boat, used to support port operations at the weapons station.
“The accident that occurred yesterday was certainly unfortunate, but I was very pleased with the way Team Earle and the local communities responded,” said Capt. Rick Valentine, commanding officer, NWS Earle. “Emergency responders were on the scene rapidly … they triaged and transported the injured to medical facilities for further evaluation and treatment.”
Ammunition and ordnance operations at the weapons station were not affected by the accident and damage from the explosion was contained within the boat house area, Mink said.
The cause of the explosion is under investigation.
The Navy said the following sailors were injured:
Chief Machinist's Mate Stacy Burleson, NWS Earle
Lt. Jeff Dennison, officer-in-charge, Military Sealift Command Atlantic Det. Earle
Firefighter Inspector Michael Donahue, NWS Earle Fire and Emergency Services
Hull Technician 1st Class Christopher Giannini, NWS Earle
Machinist's Mate 1st Class Heath Maloon, NWS Earle
Engineman 3rd Class Ashley Pitman, NWS Earle
Chief Boatswain's Mate Andre Wilkes, NWS Earle
Machinist's Mate 1st Class Matt Wister, NWS Earle