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Catastrophic fire and explosion on nearby vessel

What happened?

A vessel was double-banked alongside engaged with routine maintenance jobs, when a fire broke out on a vessel transporting a petroleum product which was berthed alongside at a berth 130 m away. There was a massive explosion and the tanker broke in to two. The Port emergency operation room was alerted immediately and the firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading to adjacent ships, and prevented oil spillage.

Unfortunately, one crew member on the burning vessel was killed, four others suffered burns, and sixteen sailors were evacuated safely.

Our members’ vessel sustained damage on the starboard side escape ladder and 5m of railings due to flying debris following the explosion. An emergency muster took place for head count, damage was reported to Port control, and engines were started immediately for emergency cast off to a safe location.

What lessons were learnt?

  • Immediate action or response should be in place to cast off the vessel from the area in case of an emergency;
  • All should be vigilant to what is happening on surrounding vessels.

This incident took place in Sharjah on 13 May and was reported in local news media.

Safety Event

Published: 25 May 2017
Download: IMCA SF 12/17

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