Navy disciplines 9 sailors, one civilian in wake of jet fuel spill

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (May 24, 2017) Danene Birtell, oil programs director for Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research Inc. (Tri-State) looks on as Michelle Carrera, response resources specialist for Tri-State, releases a snapping turtle back into its habitat at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia, June 24, 2017. Animals were recovered by U.S. Department of Agriculture from areas affected by the Wolfsnare Creek fuel spill. They were rehabilitated by Tri-State veterinarians at a specialized facility in Delaware. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob S. Richardson/released)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — The Navy is disciplining nine sailors for their roles in a 94,000-gallon fuel spill that has so far cost $3.8 million.

Rear Admiral Jack Scorby told reporters Friday that punishments range from possible losses in rank to court martial referrals. He declined to name those involved but said they include junior enlisted sailors and senior officers.

The admiral said they failed to perform their duties in May while jet fuel flowed from a barge to tanks on Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach. A switch left in the wrong position sent fuel into the wrong container, causing it to overflow.

About 25,000 gallons flowed into neighborhoods and waterways. The odor prompted 50 families to voluntarily leave for as long as two weeks. Almost 1,500 animals died, mostly fish.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Post navigation