A Greek cargo ship was expected to arrive in the San Diego area sometime before dawn today, two days after an explosion aboard the vessel killed two crewmen and left two others injured.
The freighter, which was not disabled by the blast, was to be inspected by Coast Guard officials before proceeding into the San Diego area, officials said.
The explosion occurred aboard the M/V Explorer about 2 p.m. Friday while it was off the Baja coastline, about 600 miles south of San Diego, a Coast Guard spokesman said. The precise cause of the blast, which occurred near the back section of the 600-foot ship, remained unknown, a Coast Guard spokesman said.
Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard rescue aircraft responded to the scene, as did the USS Jouett, a Navy ship that was in the area, a Coast Guard spokesman said.
An Air National Guard helicopter evacuated two injured sailors to San Diego, where they were rushed by ambulance to UC San Diego Medical Center. The two, who were listed in fair condition, were identified as Pavlos Manusakis, 40, who experienced burns over 29% of his body; and Din Burhanudin, 31, who had burns on 12% of his body.
The identities of the dead sailors were not available. One was killed in the initial blast while the other succumbed from burns.