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    Poisoned Water: How a Navy Ship Dumped Fuel and Sickened Its Own Crew

    Poisoned Water: How a Navy Ship Dumped Fuel and Sickened Its Own Crew

    Barely clothed Marines huddled exhausted next to their coffin-style bunks stacked to the ceiling below deck on the Boxer after midnight in March 2016. They were extremely tired after a long day resupplying their ship, moving crate after crate dropped off by helicopter.

    A couple of the Marines got up from their ad hoc campfire — gathered around a flashlight — to grab a drink from a nearby water fountain.

    But something was off.

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    The pungent smell of diesel fuel radiated from the tap. The poison was flowing from their sinks and permeating the laundry machines, the odor filling the mess hall. They'd been told the water was safe, but the Marines reached another conclusion.

    “The ship is actually trying to kill us,” Travis Sellers, a 20-year-old lance corporal, summarized at the time.

    “The fumes were overpowering. You smelled it when you washed your clothes in it, showered in it, when you flushed the toilet,” said Sarah Blanton, a former Marine sergeant assigned to the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “The smell was in my hair. I had a friend braid it because I thought it would keep me from smelling it in my sleep.”

    The men and women didn't know it, but the fuel running through the water lines on the ship wasn't caused by a faulty valve or a corroded pipe. The crew had done this to themselves.

    A years-long investigation reveals that the Boxer unintentionally…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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