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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Princess Irene KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 2
source HOOKE
type A
volume
material
dead 6
link

There are numerous causes for the total loss of a vessel but one of the more unusual occurred to the Greek motor tanker Princess Irene while at the River Loire port of Donges on August 26, 1972. In a ballast condition and not gas-free, she was stuck by lightning which resulted in explosions and fire destroying her. Six of her 42 crewmen died. The tanker was virtually broken in two amidships with her deck practically destroyed, her sides blown out both port and starboard and the entire poop bridge burnt out. The Princess Irene had just discharged a cargo of crude oil at Donges and was ballasting before her departure when the lightning struck at 1016 am during a sudden rainstorm.


source CTX
type D
volume
material
dead 6
link

The ship was a CTL, and scrapped. A French source agrees six killed, but says 3 were refinery people.

Inert gas would almost certainly have made a big difference. She may have also been doing the post discharge cargo survey, in which case at least some of the ullage lids would have been open. This is consistent with the French report which says half the casualties were refinery people, maybe the cargo surveyors?