NTSB cites hotwork, decking gaps in $12 million fire

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The following is text of a news release from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB):

(WASHINGTON) — On May 23, 2018, at 0010 local time, a fire was detected in a cargo hold on board the cargo ship Chipolbrok Moon while moored at the Industrial Terminal West in Greens Bayou in the Port of Houston, Texas. Some of the vessel’s 24 crewmembers had completed hotwork in that space about 25 minutes before the alarm sounded. The crew manually activated the fixed CO2 fire-extinguishing system in the affected space, and the fire was extinguished. Several wind-turbine components being carried as cargo were damaged in the fire. No pollution or injuries were reported. Damage to the vessel was estimated at $12 million.

Probable cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the fire aboard cargo vessel Chipolbrok Moon was the crew’s lack of adherence to the company’s safety management system and the marine chemist’s instructions pertaining to hotwork precautions, which allowed sparks and slag to fall through unprotected gaps between the removable decking pontoons and ignite the dust-protective covering of the transmission hubs.

Click here to read the report.

By Professional Mariner Staff