The LMIU and OSCH texts are totally misleading with respect to cause.
So for different reasons is the flag state report.
See the Australian reports for the real cause.
There is also a good description of this spill
in Brodie D, "The Kirki Incident" 1993 Oil Spill Conference, page 201,
altho like most such descriptions it focuses on what happened after the spill.
The forepeak ballast tank was horribly corroded.
The hull structure failed on deck at the bulkhead
between the forepeak tank and the forwardmost cargo tanks.
The combination of hydrocarbon vapor escaping from the cargo tanks
and the loose steel banging around started a fire,
which was then put out by the sea.
This process was repeated several times
until the whole Forepeak tank just fell off.
Thanks to heroic efforts on the part of the salvors, the ship survived.
The Kirki was fully approved by her Classification Society, Germanischer Lloyd.
Her most recent Class survey was five months earlier.
All her paperwork was in order.
She was nicely painted.
Yet when the Australians inspected this ship,
they found massive corrosion not only in what was left of the forepeak,
but in the aft segregated ballast tanks as well.
They found rust camouflaged with canvas.
And they found the ship's safety gear,
and some of machinery including the boiler safety valves
in horrible condition.
The Brodie paper has some nice pictures showing the very advanced stage of corrosion,
not only at the bulkhead at the aft end of the Forepeak tank,
but also Figure 7 showing horrible corrosion in 7 wing ballast tanks.
There is no evidence of any coating in this picture nor anodes.
But Figure 9 shows the FP tank was coated.
The Australians were at a loss to explain how the
ship's Classification Society could have missed all this.
Germanischer Lloyd for its part blamed ``poor cooperation''
on the part of the owner, Thenamaris.
In fact, owner and Class had developed the normal close working relationship.
The 97,000 ton ship was built in 1969.
She had three class changes, originally LR,
went to ABS in 79, and to Germanischer Lloyd in 1986.
Cause is clearly nil ballast tank maintenance, and lousy Class surveying.
This ship may have switched to segregated ballast,
but the failure was in one of the original segregated ballast tanks.
The fires forward had nil effect on this spill.
It is quite common for structural failures on loaded ships to generate fires.
The pieces of steel grinding against each other
in the presence of petroleum vapor makes a fire quite likely.
The fire then becomes the "cause" of the spill.
The unusual thing about this structural failure, then fire,
is the ship survived and we have pictures
which clearly show the horrible condition of the steel.
But for some reason even the environmental sources call this spill a fire.