[Updated] At Least 25 Injured in Container Ship Blaze at Thai Port
A fire that broke out on the KMTC Hongkong container ship at Thailand's Laem Chabang port on Saturday has left at least 25 people injured.
Three piers at the port were affected by heavy smoke, and some reports indicate that as many as 130 people were taken to hospital as a result of the blast and chemical fire on the 1,585-TEU South Korean container ship. They were suffering smoke inhalation and shrapnel wounds from container debris. The fire is believed to have broken out in a load of calcium hypochlorite. This chemical is a form of chlorine that could be used as a disinfectant by some ballast water treatment systems.
This is not the first time that calcium hypochlorite has been implicated in a marine casualty. Well-publicized instances date back to at least the early 1990s, and in recent years, misdeclared calcium hypochlorite was responsible for fires on Charlotte Maersk, Maersk Seoul, Maersk Londrina, Barzan, Al Ula, Hanjin Green Earth, Cape Moreton and APL Austria, according to the Standard P&I Club.
According to the Guidelines for the Carriage of Calcium Hypochlorite in Containers, it is estimated that global production of calcium hypochlorite for domestic and export markets is about
400,000 tons per year.
And in other news from the weekend...
Collision in Japan
At least one person has been confirmed dead and three people are missing after two Japanese cargo ships collided in foggy conditions on Sunday off the coast of Chiba Prefecture, Japan. The cargo ships Sensho Maru sank in about 30 meters of water when she collided with the Sumiho Maru, both 499-ton vessels. Oil has been spilled at the site, but the crew of the Sensho Maru are safe, and the vessel has returned to port.
Carbon Dioxide Leak in China
A carbon dioxide leak has killed 10 people and left another 19 receiving medical treatment. The leak occurred in a cargo ship at Longyan Port, Weihai city, while the ship was being repaird. The ship is owned by Fujian Shipping Company. The carbon dioxide is believed to have leaked from the fire suppression system due to an operational error.