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earlier burfling | later burfling

Arson caused USS MIAMI fire!

Back in May, a massive fire broke out aboard the USS Miami (SSN 755) as she was undergoing overhaul at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The fire took hours to extinguish; last I heard, the cost of repairs was estimated at four hundred million dollars.

Originally, the fire was thought to have started in a vacuum cleaner used to clean up worksites. However, the Portland Press-Herald is now reporting that the fire was deliberately set by a shipyard worker:
The fire that raged through a nuclear submarine this spring at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery was deliberately set by a 24-year-old worker who told investigators he was suffering from anxiety and depression, according to Navy investigators.

[ ... ]

Casey James Fury of Portsmouth appeared in federal court Monday and was told he faces up to life in prison if convicted of setting the fire to the sub, which was in the middle of a 20-month overhaul at the shipyard.

[ ... ]

Fury had trouble remembering some details, describing the period as a blur during which he was intensely anxious.

He told authorities he was taking medicine for anxiety, depression, insomnia and allergies.

Days after the June 16 fire, Fury checked himself into an in-patient mental health facility for two days.

Fury is scheduled to be back in court Wednesday for a combined hearing to determine whether the government had probable cause to charge him and whether he should be released on bail.
It's true in any industrial setting that one worker on his own can cause an awful lot of damage. I have to wonder whether the shipyard had adequate checks in place to pick up on a worker with serious mental health issues - or whether such checks even exist.

Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/151270.html - comment wherever you please.