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Australian Warship Destroyed by Fire

Royal Australian Navy patrol boat, the A$35 million HMAS Bundaberg, has been written off after being gutted by fire while in dry dock in a civilian shipyard.  The boat had been heavily involved in border protection operations and was undergoing extensive maintenance and refit in the Brisbane shipyard when it burst into flames.

The fire started in a forward interior section of the 56 metre long boat and quickly spread aft.  Firefighters found it difficult to access the blaze, as it was generating large amounts of heat and smoke.  The fire was fought using foam and water.

More than 60 firefighters and 15 fire appliances from the Queensland Fire & Rescue Service battled for four hours to get the intense fire under control.  Two civilian contractors were treated for smoke inhalation; all other civilian and naval personnel were safely evacuated. The cause of the fire is still unknown, although the Queensland Fire & Rescue Service is reported as speculating that repair work was responsible.

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