After an investigation, a vacuum is to blame for a $400m worth of damage from a fire onboard a U.S. nuclear submarine while dry docked in Maine last month.
It is believed that the vacuum had sucked up a heat source that ignited the debris inside it after being put away on May 24th aboard the USS Miami.
“Preliminary findings indicate the fire started in a vacuum cleaner used to clean work sites at end of shift, and stored in an unoccupied space,” the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Congressional and Public Affairs Office said in a news release. “Specific details as to the cause and subsequent damage assessment are still being evaluated as part of ongoing investigations and will be released at a later date.”
The news release added that the crew’s living quarters, command and control spaces and the torpedo room were damaged in the fire.
In addition to the estimated $400 million it would take to clean-up and repair the damage, which started last week, the Navy says that the cost could rise by other 10% due to “secondary effects,” which is the disruption to other planned work in the shipyards and the possible need to contract work to the private sector.
The USS Miami was commissioned in 1990 and carries a crew of 110, which includes 12 officers.