Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Navy Fires Captain After Carrier Catches Fire.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Navy fired the captain and executive officer of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington on Wednesday because of a massive fire that damaged the ship in May, Navy officials said.

Both the captain and executive officer were relieved of duty Wednesday after a fire damaged the ship in May.

Capt. David C. Dykhoff and his executive officer, Capt. David M. Dober, were relieved of duty while the ship is in port in San Diego, California, for repairs.

The two were fired because of practices on their ship that Navy investigators believe led to the fire, Navy officials said.

The Navy officials said investigators believe the fire was started when a cigarette ignited material stored in an engineering room.

Investigators found flammable liquids stored in an engineering area of the ship, which is strictly prohibited. Investigators also found that sailors were allowed to smoke in the same engineering areas, considered another violation.

It is estimated that the damage to the ship will cost about $70 million to repair, the Navy officials said.

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