Boiler Explosion Resulting from Complacency

Friday, May 14, 2004
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued a Report concerning a boiler explosion on the bulk carrier MEDI MONACO in the port of Geelong, Victoria on May 17, 2003 during which three engineers were burned. When the boiler flame failed, a rating attempted several times to relight it. The third engineer then opened the boiler in an attempt to adjust it. He was burned severely when the boiler exploded. Two other engineers then went to inspect the boiler when it exploded again, burning them slightly. Investigation revealed that this boiler frequently failed and that the engineers had become complacent about safety measures. The unsuccessful attempts to relight the boiler caused unburned fuel to accumulate in the boiler and on the refractory lining. Vapors from this fuel ignited, causing the explosions. The ATSB recommended that the boiler manufacturer issue a bulletin highlighting safety precautions when servicing the fuel burner unit. Marine Safety Investigation Report No. 194 (HK Law).

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