Explosion injures 8 in boathouse at NJ Navy base

Explosion injures 8 in boathouse at NJ Navy base

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MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) -- An explosion during boat maintenance at a New Jersey Naval base injured eight sailors and civilian employees Tuesday morning, one of them seriously.

The blast happened at the Earle Naval Weapons Station in Middletown at around 9 a.m. and was confined to a boathouse where the routine maintenance was being done, Navy spokeswoman Beth Baker said. She did not have details on the nature of the work that was being conducted.

One sailor was hospitalized with serious injuries.

"He was conscious and speaking" before being taken to a hospital, Baker said.

Seven other sailors and civilian employees sustained minor injuries, mostly smoke inhalation. The Navy was withholding their names until relatives could be notified.

There was no immediate word on what caused the explosion, and an investigation was underway. No ammunition was involved, Baker said.

The station provides ammunition and explosives for Navy vessels.

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