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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Tasman KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 2
source ATSB
type L
volume 0L
material
dead 0
link http://www.atsb.gov.au/marine/incident/incident_detail.cfm?ID=142


source CTX
type D
volume
material
dead 1
link

Good detailed report showing how easy it is to start a fire in an engine room. In this case vibration loosened two allen screws on the fuel suction pipe to the No 1 generator fuel pump. ATSB found that the crew had used the incorrect torque in tightening these screws; they had mistakenly used the torque for a different set of screws. ATSB thinks source of ignition was the generator exhaust manifold which was not sufficiently screened against spray from the hot box. Hot box allowed fuel to flow from the hot box to the bilge where a bilge fire ensued.

Prompt courageous action by the crew kept this fire from turning into a major casualty. A big factor was that they had earlier retrofitted isolating valves in the fuel supply and return lines to the generator, which they were able to use to shut off the fire's fuel supply.

It is likely that many unexplained ER fires/explosions in the CTX database had such humble origins: very minor crew error combined with a modest design defect.