Four Sailors Die in Terrorist Attack in Yemen

By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2000 -- Four sailors are dead, 35 injured and 12 missing following a terrorist attack Oct. 12 on the destroyer USS Cole in Aden, Yemen. An eyewitness said a rubber speedboat helping the destroyer moor exploded alongside the ship, opening a 20-foot by 40- foot hole at the waterline on the left side. Navy officials said there has been extensive flooding in the engineering spaces of the ship and that damage control efforts continue. The officials said casualties have been moved to local hospitals. They said decisions on medical evacuations of the 35 injured would be made on a case-by-case basis. Some are listed in serious condition. U.S. Central Command officials said a C-9 Nightingale air ambulance has been dispatched from Germany. In addition, planes carrying 15 Navy medical personnel have left for Aden from Bahrain, headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet. More personnel will be sent as needed. The Cole was in Aden for refueling and tied to a pier when the attack occurred at 12:15 a.m. local time. Its stop was unannounced; officials said refueling normally takes five to six hours. The destroyer, part of the George Washington Carrier Battle Group, was on its way to the Persian Gulf after transiting the Red Sea. The ship was due to join the Maritime Intercept Operation in the gulf. No terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, said Navy officials. The Cole's home port is Norfolk, Va. Families that desire information should call 1 800 368-3202. Officials stress the number is intended only for families of the Cole's crew. Fifth Fleet officials said they are working to get information about the crew back to Norfolk as soon as they can. The Cole is an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided-missile destroyer. It was commissioned in 1996. Manning calls for 26 officers and 315 sailors. The ship was in the middle of a six-month deployment. It left Norfolk June 21 and was due back home on Dec. 21.