One Dead, One Injured in Boiler Explosion

The Manhattan Bridge (file image / social media)

By MarEx 2017-01-20 21:13:15

On Friday, the Suffolk Constabulary reported that one person was dead and another had been hospitalized following an explosion aboard a vessel in the Port of Felixstowe.

"Police were called to the Port of Felixstowe at 11:45pm [Thursday night] to reports of an incident in the boiler room of a ship that was docking," the police said in a statement. "The death is not being treated as suspicious and there will be a joint investigation between the Police and the Maritime and Coastguard agency."

Local media identified the vessel as the Manhattan Bridge, a modern ultra large container vessel built in 2015. She is operated by "K" Line, and the carrier gave additional details on the accident in a statement to media. 

“Whilst berthing a boiler back-fire occurred in the engine room resulting in the fatality of one crew member; another seafarer was taken to hospital with non-critical injuries," a spokesman wrote. “‘K’ Line Europe and all within the organization wish to express their condolences to the family of the deceased and their sympathy with the crew of the vessel.”

Citizens reported hearing the blast from far away. “I’m over in Shotley [about 1.5 miles from the port] and it made me jump and the shelving shudder, it was so loud,” said local resident Hannah Mortem, speaking to the Ipswich Star. Baz O'Connell, a marina woker who lives across the waterway from the port, told BBC that "it was a very definite low boom that was different to any other noise I'd heard."

As of 1800 GMT Friday, the Bridge was still alongside in Felixstowe. She is scheduled to call at Hamburg on Sunday.