American Eagle, another elderly US tanker, was in ballast
when she exploded off Louisiana.
Five crew men died, nine other were injured
and two were missing, presumed dead.
American Eagle lacked IGS.
Once again disaster may well have been avoided
if IGS had been in use.
In addition, the guidance of ISGOTT was not apparently heeded.
This is a common feature of many tanker casualties.
While the blast caused severe structural damage to American Eagle,
at first her stability seemed unaffected.
However, she later broke up
while being towed away from nearby oil platforms.
The ship was tank cleaning when she exploded.
Portable wash machines were in use following the carriage of a gasoline cargo.
Gas freeing was by steam driven blowers and a steam drive venturi air mover.
While it is not clear what caused No 3 center tank to explode,
steam was injected via the air mover into an explosive atmosphere.
In all probability, a static electrical discharge -- related to the
improperly earthed air mover -- provided the source of ignition.
Following the explosion,
there was no structural damage survey.
Fire hoses were not led out and
no coordinated attempt was made to deal with the emergency.
The emergency alarm was not sounded
and no muster or check of personnel carried out.
There were appalling difficulties in establishing radio communications
while the ship's rocket flares were found to be almost useless.