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The World

September 06, 1987

A shortage of firefighting equipment and poor training contributed to the loss of life aboard the American frigate Stark after it was struck in the Persian Gulf by two missiles fired from an Iraqi jet, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The Stark was so poorly equipped, the newspaper said, that it would have sunk if a foreign tug had not come to its aid about three hours after the May 17 attack that killed 37 sailors. Citing internal Navy documents and interviews with the ship's crew, the Inquirer said the shortage of firefighting material is not unique to the vessel and is of concern because of the increasing number of U.S. ships in the gulf region.

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