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Navy probes accident that injured 11 aboard carrier

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 9:48 a.m. HST, Mar 31, 2011

SAN DIEGO >> Military officials say 11 people were injured when the engine of a fighter jet failed and caught fire as it prepared to take off from an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean.

Naval Air Forces Lt. Aaron V. Kakiel said Thursday the accident injured eight sailors, one Marine and two civilians aboard the USS John C. Stennis.

The Navy initially reported 10 sailors were injured when a F/A-18C Hornet's engine exploded during a training exercise at about 2:50 p.m. Wednesday on the flight deck of the USS John C. Stennis.

Four sailors were taken to the hospital and others were treated on board the carrier. None of the injuries was life threatening and the pilot was not hurt.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Cmdr. Pauline Storum said the Hornet sustained at least a million dollars' worth of damage.

The Stennis is based in Bremerton, Wash., and was conducting qualification flights for pilots and crews about 100 miles off the coast of San Diego at the time of the accident.

The aircraft was assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

The F/A-18C Hornet, which was used in Operation Desert Storm, is a fighter-attack aircraft that can carry air-to-air missiles and infrared imaging air-to-ground missiles.

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