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U.S. sailor dies in fire on ship during training

SHARE U.S. sailor dies in fire on ship during training

INGLESIDE, Texas — A fire that broke out during a training exercise on the USS Inchon killed one sailor and injured seven others, Navy officials said.

One sailor remained in serious condition Saturday and six others were treated and released after the fire Friday afternoon, said Lt. Marc Boyd, spokesman for the Mine Warfare Command in Corpus Christi.

The dead sailor was identified as Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronnie Joe Palm Jr. of Houston. Palm, 21, had been in the Navy for two years, officials said.

Boyd said the ship can hold 675 crew members, but did not know how many were on board when the blaze started. The ship was docked at the time of the accident.

"It's a sad time when you have an incident like this, but the sailors responded quickly and professionally as they have been trained to do and we're going to investigate the cause," Boyd said.

The fire was likely fueled by petroleum or some other flammable liquid, Boyd said.

The Inchon is a mine countermeasures command and control ship that serves as a landing pad for helicopters used in mine-hunting missions. It returned to Naval Station Ingleside on Sept. 1 after five months at sea.