Created: Thu, 21 Nov 2013 02:00:00 PST
Updated: Thu, 21 Nov 2013 07:02:47 PST
SAN DIEGO - A smoldering fire inside sandblasting equipment at a Barrio Logan shipyard sent 17 workers to hospitals Thursday for treatment of breathing problems and possible exposure to toxic materials, authorities reported.
The blaze in the 2200 block of Belt Street was reported about 10:30 a.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
A total of 58 military and civilian crew members who had been working on a dry-docked Navy ship when the fire erupted were evacuated from the site, and 16 of them were taken to emergency rooms for evaluation of complaints of minor respiratory ailments, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said.
Another man was exposed to possibly toxic metallic dust when a large commercial refuse bin became top-heavy due to collected water from firefighters' hoses and toppled over near him. He was taken to a hospital for decontamination procedures.
It took engine and truck crews about three hours to fully extinguish the blaze, Luque said.