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Navy to repair sub that suffered $400M damage in arson fire

1:53 PM, Aug 19, 2012   |    comments
By PH2 Kevin Langford, U.S. Navy, via AP
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By Michael Winter, USA TODAY
The Navy says it will repair the nuclear-powered submarine USS Miami, which suffered an estimated $400 million damage from an arson fire at a Maine shipyard in May, the Associated Press says.

"Our goal is to return the Miami to the fleet because this makes sense operationally and fiscally," Navy spokesman Lt. Courtney Hillson told AP.

The 22-year-old submarine has been in dry dock since March, undergoing a 20-month overhaul at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. The May 23 fire, which took more than 100 firefighters about 12 hours to extinguish, damaged the forward living quarters, torpedo room and command-and-control center but did not reach the aft nuclear power plant. No weapons were aboard at the time.

AP says the Navy previously requested that $220 million be reallocated for unfunded ship repairs for the current fiscal year. An undisclosed amount was targeted for the Miami, and now many millions more will be needed to repair it.

The Navy said it would provide more details next week.

The Los Angeles-class attack sub, home-ported in Groton, Conn., had been scheduled to be decommissioned in 2020, the Navy Times has reported.

A civilian painter, Casey James Fury, 24, of Portsmouth, N.H., has been charged with setting the fire and another in June that caused no damage. The Navy said he told investigators he set the fire because he suffered anxiety attacks and wanted to leave work early.

The federal public defender says he and prosecutors are trying to resolve the case without a grand jury indictment, which was pushed back to Sept. 26, the Portsmouth Herald reports.

USA TODAY

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