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The secretary did say the Navy has put in place a number of contingency plans, starting with evacuating the Navy Yard complex as soon as possible. The Navy is also working on being able to get all employees home, since their cars and personal belongings are now part of a crime scene, Mr. Mabus said.

“To the doctors, to all the medical personnel, to all the first-responders: thank you,” he said.

People trying to find family members working at Navy Yard can call two numbers: 202-433-6151 or 202-433-9713.

The MedStar Washington Hospital Center is the largest private hospital in the city and one of the top U.S. medical facilities for cardiology treatment. It is renowned for tackling the Washington area’s toughest cases with an emergency department ranked as a the highest category, “Level 1,” trauma center. Its MedSTAR Transport helicopters are frequently seen at severe accident scenes.

The hospital is also home to the region’s center for adult suffering from critical burns.

.• Nathan Porter contributed to this report.