Sweden Detains Unseaworthy Ship Loaded with Explosives
The Swedish government is holding the Panama-flagged Turkish cargo ship Whiskey Trio after finding it loaded with explosives and rockets bound for the Middle East and deeming it unseaworthy.
The alert was raised by the transportation workers union Transportarbetareforbundet after a Whiskey Trio crew member told it that he was not given permission to see a doctor despite being ill.
The union has described the 32-year-old vessel as “a rusty ship with poverty wages.” Another observer called it the worst ship he had ever inspected.
According to news agency, Breitbart, the cargo includes tons of explosives, rockets and ammunition in 13 containers. The vessel is bound for an unconfirmed port in the Middle East, possibly in Yemen or Oman, by way of the Netherlands, Belgium and Montenegro.
Investigators have discovered bare 380-volt cables and other ignition risks, reports Breitbart. Fire protection systems were found to be deficient and containers incorrectly stowed.
The ship had called at a number of other European ports before being intercepted in Sweden, and the last call had been in Sheerness in the United Kingdom.
The ship could now be impounded for months while Swedish authorities work with the owner, Trio Shipping, and the flag state to get the ship in a satisfactory condition to sail.
One of the most infamous cases of a munitions ship exploding is that of the SS Mont-Blanc which exploded in Canada in 1917 killing over 2,000 people. The vessel collided with another ship in port. Exploding with the force of nearly three kilotons of TNT, the blast is believed to be the largest non-nuclear man-made explosion.