Explosions and fire rock chemical tanker

Oct 04 2019

Two explosions followed by a fire engulfed Stolt-Nielsen’s 2009-built, 43,478 dwt Cayman Islands-flagged chemical tanker ‘Stolt Groenland’, while she was berthed at Ulsan in South Korea last Saturday morning.

The fire spread to Odfjell’s tanker ‘Bow Dalian’, which was moored alongside ‘Stolt Groenland’ for a ship-to-ship transfer operation.

It was later confirmed that there were two explosions most likely caused by the overheating of the styrene monomer cargo.

As a result, ‘Bow Dalian’ was moved away from ‘Stolt Groenland’.

Earlier this week, Stolt-Nielsen confirmed that a multi-national team of experts had begun to assess damage and start investigations into the explosion and fire on board ‘Stolt Groenland’ whilst she was berthed at Yeompo Quay at Ulsan early on 28th September, 2019. 

All seafarers aboard the vessel were safely evacuated with one minor injury reported to a crew member who received medical attention.

Stolt said that the company was working with the port authorities to secure the vessel in advance of a typhoon that is expected to impact the area within a few days.

The full extent of damage to the ship and cargo was still to be established. Stolt Tankers will deliver undamaged cargoes to their final destinations.’ Stolt Groenland’ will be out of service for some time for repairs, though the extent of repairs and timing for completion is yet to be confirmed, the company said.

External investigations are being conducted by the local Coast Guard and by the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) on behalf of the Caymans Island flag, to whom Stolt Tankers is offering its full co-operation.

The exact cause of the incident is thus far unknown, the company stressed.


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