Category: Fire

Cheshire

Cheshire

Cheshire
Photo: canarias7.es

On August 13, the 190 meter long, 56598 dwt bulk carrier Cheshire exploded and caught fire in the Atlantic Ocean near Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. The Cheshire was headed for Thailand from Norway with 40,000 tons of ammonium nitrate when the crew was alerted there was a fire in the cargo holds.

CHESHIRE

The vessel wanted to divert to Las Palmas on Canary Island, but authorities at Las Palmas refused entry of the bulk carrier. They were concern of the possible explosion in the harbor like that of the SS Grandcamp in 1947 in Texas City. When that vessel’s cargo of 960 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded, it destroyed some 1000 buildings and killing over 450 persons.  The Cheshire was loaded with more than 40 times more than the SS Grandcamp and was ordered to stay offshore.

On August 14, authorities had their caution confirmed. The ammonium nitrate had exploded in Hold No. 4 on the Cheshire followed by several smaller explosions. A fire burned in the hold spewing out dense smoke. With the situation becoming increasingly dangerous, the 24 crew on the Cheshire abandoned ship being evacuated by two rescue helicopters.

The next morning found the Cheshire still burning, but afloat. The bulk carrier’s owners had considered scuttling the Cheshire, but changed their minds. With Salvors nearby, the owner’s planned to extinguish the blaze and tow the bulk carrier back to port. A salvage vessel along with a tugboat were dispatched to monitor and assess the situation.

The latest reports stated the Cheshire continues to spew out smoke from the cargo holds, but there were no flames or visible fire. The hatch cover over cargo hold No. 4 was damaged and there was still intense heat coming from the hold.  Salvors will attempt to cool the hold with water before towing the bulk carrier to port.

 

 

Vision

Vision

Vision
Photo: gelderlander.nl

The 183 meter long self-propelled container-barge Vision caught fire on the Rhine off Millingen, Netherlands. The vessel was en route to Frankfurt, Germany with a deck loaded with empty containers when a fire broke out in the engine room. The five crew were able to escape the heavy smoke and flames.  Reports state the blaze was finally extinguished a few hours later. Damage to the engine room was extensive leaving the vessel disabled. Authorities arrived on scene to monitor the situation. No reports of injuries, but authorities suggested nearby residents to keep windows and doors closed due to the stench from the smoke released.

Vision

 

 

Kathryn T. Devall

Kathryn T. Devall

Kathryn T. Devall
Photo: Gulfport Fire Dept via wlox.com

On August 3, a 195 foot long barge caught fire on the Intracoastal Waterway in the Mississippi Sound. The barge was under tow by the 23 meter long towboat Kathryn T. Devall carrying some 2500 pounds of anhydrous ammonia and 800 gallons of diesel fuel. Authorities in Gulfport, Mississippi were alerted and firefighters were able to douse the fire.

No reports of injuries to the 4 crew on board.  The Kathryn T. Devall and the barge were not in danger of sinking, but the vessels required to be towed to shore. An environmental team was dispatched to help with cleanup.