Ten die in Romanian Shipyard Blast - June 5, 2001
At least 10 Romanian workers were killed in an explosion on an
empty oil tanker undergoing repair work in the Black Sea port of
Constanta on June 5. Four workers were unaccounted for as of the
writing of the article. They were doing welding work to replace
corroded metal panels on the side of the vessel, private
Romanian news agency Mediafax reported. Initial reports
suggested a welder's torch ignited a mixture of paraffin and mud
which fueled the blaze on the vessel.
It was the second fire to engulf the ship, the Anopolis, in the past two weeks
and the second oil tanker in the past month to explode in Constanta, 155
miles east of Bucharest. Three shipyard employees were arrested
on June 7 in connection with this incident. The chief engineer
of the Constata shipyard, Mihai Zdru, and the head of repair
operations, Ibram Cetin, were charged with manslaughter, causing
injury to others and using false documents.
They face up to 15 years in prison.
Maritime expert Alaxandru Dima was also arrested
and faces unspecified charges for certifying
that the ship was carrying no gases
and for allowing workers to use open-flame welding.