NAVAL WEAPONS STATION EARLE, N.J. (NNS) -- One person remains hospitalized and seven were released from area hospitals following Tuesday's explosion in a boat house on board Naval Weapons Station (NWS) Earle, Aug. 21.
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.
The injured were:
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
The explosion occurred at approximately 9 a.m. Tuesday 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."
The weapons station worked in conjunction with local and regional media to disseminate information quickly to residents of the surrounding areas to assure they were clear from danger, he said.
Middletown Emergency Services, Monmouth/Ocean Health Care Cooperative and the New Jersey State Police NorthSTAR medevac helicopter provided assistance in transporting the injured personnel.
"I thank the local first responders for their quick response ... our Earle team as well as the first aid and rescue squads from Middletown Township, the Middletown Fire Department, the paramedic units that responded and the New Jersey State Police," said Fire Chief Agustinho Calcado, NWS Earle Fire and Emergency Services. "We've long been mutual aid partners and we appreciate their willingness to help out."
The cause of the explosion is under investigation.
NWS Earle provides ordnance for Atlantic Fleet Carrier and Expeditionary Strike Groups, and supports strategic Department of Defense ordnance requirements.
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Mid Atlantic, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrma/.