Two people were killed and 38 treated for severe burns
when fire swept across flosting petrol on the Kharnaphuli River
to flash through the Norwegian motor tanker Siponto
while she was anchored at Chittagong oil mooring No 4
at midnight on February 28, 1966.
Her superstructure was gutted,
with the engine room also sustaining serious damage,
but her cargo of 6000 tons of oil was apparently unaffected.
The fire was eventually brought under control at 6 am on March 3,
but such was the extent of the damage that the Siponto was declared a CTL,
and sold to Taiwanese ship breakers for demolition at Kaohsiung.
The fire was started by an unusual set of circumstances.
The Pakistani motor vessel Star Altair.
loading cased kerosene at No 3 mooring.
also became engulfed in flames
due to the burning petrol on the surface of the river.
This was assumed to have been due to leakage
from the Pakistani motor tanker Sigupta,
which was discharging cargo at oil mooring No 2.
The floating petrol was then accidentally ignited
by country boats moored along side the Greek steamship Nymfea,
which was lying at oil mooring No 5,
loaded with a cargo of Chinese coal.
Both the Siponto and the Star Altair were enveloped in flames.
The fire on the Nymfea was extinguished by flooding No 2 hold,
while the Sigupta was reported to have been only slightly damaged.