Skip to comments.Japanese oil tanker explodes in Hiroshima, captain still missing
Posted on 05/29/2014 7:32:51 AM PDT by thackney
A Japanese oil tanker located in the Himeji Port in western Hiroshima exploded on Thursday morning, causing the ship to catch fire. Seven of the ships eight crew members were rescued, with four suffering from severe burns, but the captain is still unaccounted for as of this writing.
The 998-tonne Shoko Maru had just finished unloading its crude oil cargo and was near the Hyogo Prefecture coast when the explosion occurred at around 9:30 AM. Fortunately, the tanker was almost empty, or else the damage would have been worse. According to Akihiro Komura, an official from Syoho Shipping who owns the ship, one of the crew members was removing paint by using a grinder which might have triggered the blast. He also confirmed that all eight on board were Japanese nationals and that the 7 were confirmed alive. All of them were brought to the hospital, with four being treated for serious injuries. They still have no word on the whereabouts of the 64-year-old captain, but will continue search and rescue operations.
When news broke about the explosion, Japans Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in parliament and interrupted an ongoing debate to break the news. Footage showed ships and aircraft fighting the fire that engulfed the ship with water cannons. Authorities assured the public that there was no danger to the other ships in the area since the tanker was stationed just outside the port area.
I didn’t know they made 998 ton crude carriers.
Small tanker, probably with empty tanks and the fumes ignited.
Why there hasn’t been an explosion in Hiroshima like that since 1945.
I was ready for it. *smirk*
That’s some hole in that boat...
An empty oil tank is much more dangerous than a full one. When you weld, cut, or grind on an empty vessel which had flamables inside, you first fill it with water to displace the potential fumes. If you can’t fill it with water, you fill it with an inert gas which prevents oxygen fom being available. Any fire needs three things. Heat, fuel source, and oxygen. Remove any one of those three and there is no fire risk.
Even the terrorists Oil is dangerous. Don’t they purge the tanks and fill with nitrogen?
It is tiny, as tanker ships go.
This may have been used for Lightering, unloading larger ship that cannot come into the port due to size.
Yes. Forgot to flood the tanks with Nitrogen to reduce explosion risk
I do not believe they do. The insides of the tanks are always considered a hazardous area. There would normally be no sparking equipment inside.
When maintenance has to be done, they need to be purged.
I know in Valdez, Alaska, the fumes coming off the ship being filled are directly captured and used for power generation. However in recent years, the slow rate of tankers required adding additional generation on diesel.
If it had been full, it wouldn’t have exploded. Empty ship is a fuel air explosive device.