The vessel was alongside undergoing repairs
following a period of time that it had been laid up.
During the process of replacing an expansion joint in one of the tanks,
it was realized there was a quantity of Premium Motor Spirit in the tank.
An electrical submersible pump was to be used to pump the oily water mixture.
The pump was lowered in the tanks and soon after it was started,
an explosion occurred severely rupturing the cargo tanks.
As a result of the explosion, 6 shore workers and one of the ship’s officers died.
As well, one shore worker and another of the ship’s officers were admitted to hospital.
There was an explosive meter on board and tanks had been tested some time before;
however, there is nothing to indicate
that the atmosphere in the tank had been tested on the day of the explosion.
The ship’s eduction pump was not used
and the electrical submersible pump
that was used was faulty or not intrinsically safe to be used in such conditions.
The Master’s experience was, for the most part,
on general cargo and container vessels and not on tankers.