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WASHINGTON: The Navy has ordered that vacuum cleaners be emptied after a fire in one caused up to $500 million in damage to the nuclear submarine USS Miami while the boat was in drydock being serviced.

The fire at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Maine, started in a vacuum cleaner that had apparently sucked up something hot that smoldered and then caught fire inside the vacuum. Since the vacuum was stored on the Los Angeles sub, the fire was able to spread. While the May 23 fire did not damage the sub’s nuclear reactor or imperil the hull, it did ravage the torpedo room, the command and control section of the sub and other forward portions of the boat and injure seven people. Keep reading →