By Victoria Cavaliere
Aug 20 (Reuters) – Eight people were injured, one of them seriously, after an explosion and fire struck a U.S. Navy ammunitions depot near the New Jersey shore on Tuesday, Navy officials said.
Fire trucks, ambulances and a medical emergency helicopter rushed to Naval Weapons Station Earle, located near Colts Neck Township, about 45 miles (70 km) from Manhattan. The cause of the explosion at a Marine boat repair shop at about 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) was being investigated.
“The damage from the explosion was contained within the boathouse area. Ammunition and ordnance operations at the weapons station were not affected by the accident,” the Navy said in a statement.
One person was seriously hurt, seven others suffered minor injuries, according to Navy officials in Washington, with all of the injured taken to local hospitals. It was unclear if the injured were service members or civilians.
The base, which has a workforce of 1,500 people, has several facilities located in Colts Neck and surrounding towns, according to the U.S. Navy website. It serves as the “operational support base for five Military Sealift Commands combat logistics ships,” according to the website. (Editing by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Jeffrey Benkoe)
© 2013 Thomson Reuters.