Four Dead After U.S. Navy Ship Hit With Explosives

Thursday, October 12, 2000
An explosives-laden rubber raft rammed a U.S. guided missile destroyer and exploded in the Yemeni port of Aden on Thursday, killing four U.S. sailors and injuring 36, five seriously, Reuters reported. The White House said President Bill Clinton was horrified by what appeared to be a "terrorist" attack on the destroyer USS Cole. One sailor was still missing some five hours after the explosion caused a big hole on the left side of the listing vessel, the officials said. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh offered condolences to Clinton and the "friendly American people" and flew to Aden to visit some of the injured, who also included two Yemeni port workers, the official Saba news agency reported. Lieutenant-Commander Daren Pelkie, spokesman for the Bahrain-based U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, told Reuters: "A U.S. army major saw a rubber raft run into the ship, causing the explosion." He said the destroyer, commissioned in 1996 and armed with standard missiles and torpedoes, had been refueling in Aden when the explosion occurred at 12:15 p.m. Bahrain time (0915 GMT). Asked if the explosion was a deliberate attack, he said: "We don't know why a rubber raft would be carrying explosives." "The explosion was big enough to cause a 20-foot by 40-foot" (six-by-12 meters) gash in the left side of the ship along the waterline and that the vessel was listing four degrees. In Washington, a U.S. official said terrorism could not be ruled out in the attack. "We can't rule it out but we're not ready to draw that conclusion. We're awaiting the facts." Lieutenant Terrence Dudley from the Fifth Fleet said: "We are not labeling it as a terrorist act yet. It is still under investigation and we've not received any claim of responsibility." Anti-U.S. sentiments are running high in much of the Arab world, including Yemen, over Washington's perceived support of Israel during two weeks of fierce Israeli-Palestinian violence. Israeli helicopter gunships on Thursday blasted Palestinian targets in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with missiles to avenge the killing of two Israeli soldiers by a lynch mob. Navy spokesperson Lieutenant Meghan Mariman said in Washington that the U.S. sailors were trying "very hard to keep the ship afloat", adding that the vessel was carrying about 300 people. Dudley said: "USS Cole has been stabilized and the flooding has been contained. Luckily there have been no fires." Yemeni officials confirmed the explosion but said it occurred inside the vessel. "Preliminary information indicates that the explosion happened inside the ship in the supplies section," a Yemeni naval official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters. But Dudley said: "We know it (the blast) occurred externally. An investigation is underway." It was not immediately known if any people were aboard the rubber raft. In Aden, witnesses said the explosion was so powerful that it rattled buildings near the port, one of the Arabian peninsula's largest. They said Yemeni security officials rushed to the port where the U.S. ship was anchored. Witnesses saw ambulances carrying the wounded, but reporters were not allowed to approach the scene.
Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Contracts

MAN GenSets for Chilean Fishing Vessel

MAN Diesel & Turbo received an order for three MAN 6L21/31 gensets to power a wellboat newbuilding for Patagonia Wellboat, the Chilean fish-farming operator. The

Zentech to Perform ZAIMS Work on Brazilian Aircraft Carrier

Zentech’s President Ramesh Maini announced that the company has been awarded a contract to perform an inspection and evaluation of the hull steel for the Naval Aircraft Carrier São Paulo,

LNG Tanker Due in UK Around May 6

Britain's Isle of Grain liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal is set to receive the GDF Suez Point Fortin tanker on around May 6, live ship-tracking data on Reuters Eikon shows.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1071 sec (9 req/sec)