A Nuclear Submarine was Destroyed Because This Guy Wanted to Get Out of Work Early
A nuclear submarine that was docked in a shipyard went up in flames after a mysterious fire broke out on board. The cause of the blaze was later determined to be intentional, as a contractor looking to get off work early set a pile of rags on fire. The flames quickly grew, leading to $450 million in damages.
The incident took place on board the USS Miami in 2012, while it was docked at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, located in Maine.
According to a report by We are the Mighty, the nuclear-powered Los Angeles class attack sub was scheduled to be overhauled over the course of 20 months, as well as receive some planned upgrades.
Casey James Fury, a painter and sandblaster working as a civilian contractor, had wanted to go home early. He ignited a box of greasy rags as a means of justifying leaving the job site at approximately 5:41 pm local time.
The fire spread to the crew living quarters, torpedo room, and the command and control sections. It raged on until 3:30 am the following day, requiring over 100 firefighters to report to the scene.
One firefighter stated that the resulting inferno was “the worst fire he’s ever seen.”
Fury was charged with setting the blaze, as well as one outside of the submarine three weeks later, and was sentenced to 17 years in prison as well as five years of parole.
He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $400 million, though prosecutors believed collecting the sum was “unlikely.”
At Fury’s sentencing, US District Court Judge George Z. Singal stated, “There seems little doubt that the loss of that submarine for an extended period of time impacts the Navy’s ability to perform its functions.
Estimates for the damage reached $450 million and $71 million was spent initially repairing the vessel. In 2013, it was determined that the submarine could not be fixed, leading to its decommissioning after only 24 years in service.
The USS Miami was scrapped, which cost $54 million.