KITTERY — The Navy is convening a special panel to investigate the fire that damaged the USS Miami while it was in dry dock for an overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

All other investigations will be folded into the committee’s probe, which was ordered by U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.

Early estimates put the fire damage at $400 million. It started on May 23 after burning material was sucked into a vacuum cleaner.

Lt. Cmdr. Mike Kafka, a Navy spokesman, says the goal is to gain a detailed understanding of what happened to ensure nothing similar happens in the future. He says the Navy has not yet concluded whether the submarine will be repaired or retired.
 


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