Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

3 Die, 1 Injured on Base, Carrier; the Incidents at Mayport Naval Base and aboard Kennedy Were Unrelated

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

3 Die, 1 Injured on Base, Carrier; the Incidents at Mayport Naval Base and aboard Kennedy Were Unrelated

Article excerpt

Byline: RACHEL DAVIS, The Times-Union

A sailor and a contractor working aboard the USS John F. Kennedy died this week, and another sailor is in critical condition after unrelated accidents on the Mayport-based carrier.

Another Kennedy sailor died on the Navy base this week after he collapsed during a basketball game.

Seaman Apprentice Daxion J. Brown died after he was exposed to a highly toxic gas while working aboard the ship Tuesday.

New Jersey contractor Kennard B. Jackson also died Tuesday a few hours after he hit his head on a pipe aboard the carrier.

Airman Drexter Blow of Baton Rouge, La., died Monday at the Mayport Naval Station gym.

Brown, a 22-year-old native of Titusville, was taken by helicopter to Shands Jacksonville after he was exposed to hydrogen sulfide in one of the carrier's sewage pump rooms. He died at a hospital.

In the same mishap, Fireman Brian F. Carr, 21, of Fairland, Okla., suffered exposure and is in critical condition at Shands.

The Navy is investigating the cause of the accident.

"I know they were working in there, but specifically what type work they were doing, I don't know," said Lt. Leslie Hull-Ryde, a ship spokeswoman.

There are four sewage pump rooms -- or collection, holding and transfer tanks -- aboard the Kennedy. Hydrogen sulfide is generally the by-product of the organic decomposition of sulfur compounds. It is most often found in sewers, barns, sulfur springs and as in this case, ships' holds.

It is a colorless gas that reeks of rotten eggs, according to physicians at emedicine.com, an online database of diseases and disorders. Hydrogen sulfide poisoning generally occurs by inhalation and depending on the amount of exposure can lead to difficulty breathing and cardiac arrest.

In the other accident Tuesday, Jackson, 48, was working for a civilian contractor from Philadelphia on the carrier about 11 a.m. when he hit his head on a pipe, said Chief David Thompson of the Atlantic Beach Police Department. …

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