Jacksonville, FL (Off Coast) Steam Accident On Carrier, June 1957


Jacksonville (AP) -- The aircraft carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt limped into port early today, the victim of its second accident at sea in two months.
On board were two dead and five seriously injured crewmen. They were sprayed by live steam which spewed out when a pump exploded deep inside the 45,000 ton warship yesterday.
Twenty-nine other crewmen were stricken with heat prostration or exhaustion, many of them in efforts to rescue trapped comrades.
Capt. T. W. Hopkins credited heroism and the fine training of U.S. Navy men with holding down the number of casualties. He said, "I can't pinpoint one single man" for heroism, "all are equally deserving of praise."
Fifty to 60 men entered the fierce steam for rescue work or to help confine damage.
A board of investigation met to determine the extent of damage. The explosion blew pieces of the pump through two bulkheads as well as the steam lines. Hopkins, said, however, he did not think the ship would need drydocking for repairs.
The Roosevelt reduced speed "to secure the boilers" immediately after the explosion and six or seven planes in the air were divereted to land field at Jacksonville.
One plane, a twin-jet A3D Skywarrior attack bomber, was unable to lower its landing gear and crashed near the carrier basin at nearby Mayport. The three crewmen parachuted and were picked up unhurt.
The Roosevelt docked at Mayport shortly after 1 a.m.
Hopkins told newsmen the accident occurred at 12:42 p.m. about 100 miles off the coast.
That was about 50 miles from the spot where the Roosevelt threw a propeller blade on May 15. The blade hit another propeller and the ship drydocked for repairs. There were no casualties then.
Hopkins said the explosion occurred "about midships in the pump room on the fourth or fifth deck below the hangar deck."
The two men killed were on watch in a compartment adjoining the pump room. Live steam got to them through an open hatch.
Hopkins listed the dead as:
BOBBY E. HYDER, 22, boiler attendant third class of Spartanburg, S.C.
SIDNEY R. WALL, 20, fireman of Norwood, S.C.

San Mateo Times California 1957-06-20