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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Seastar KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 3
source LMIU
type C
volume
material
dead 2
link

Explosion and fire in No.3 centre tank 275 miles SE of Hong Kong, in 18 56 N 117 32 E, 20 Apr 1992 Abandoned by crew Later explosions in No.1 and 2 tanks Fires extinguished 21 Apr Towed into Hong Kong 24 Apr Sailed 20 May for Shanghai. Two crew dead


source FSI 3/5
type A
volume
material
dead 2
link

Caught fire after explosion in No 3 tank in lat 18.56N, long 177.32E on 20/04/92. Vessel towed to Hong Kong where arrived 24/04/92. Subsequently taken to Shanghai for break-up.

The proximate cause of the explosion was the ignition of hydrocarbon gas in the flammable limits, which was vented from cargo spaces prior to tank cleaning.

No positive determination can be made as to the actual sources of ignition, but the fact that a working crew was on deck forward leads to a qualified determination that the ignition was generated by some act of the working crew.

In view of the prior contact damage on 10 April 1992, ten days prior to the explosions, it is appreciated that considerable work was to be accomplished in the general area of the forecastle


source CTX
type C
volume
material
dead 2
link

The FSI entry is a summary of the Liberia investigation report, which we are not allowed to see. However, in this case, it appears likely that Liberia is right in calling this lack of coordination between the deck and engine side.

We dont know whether the ship was inerted, but there is an excellent change she was not, which could have helped a lot. If an inerted tank is vented, by the time the oxygen content is above flammable, there is a good change the hydrocarbon level will be below flammable.