Fire on Stolt-Nielsen Barge at Uerdingen

Thursday, November 29, 2001
Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stolt-Nielsen S.A. reports that during the early morning of November 21, the crew of the SNTG Motor Tank Barge, Stolt Rotter dam discharging nitric acid at Bayer Uerdingen near Cologne on the River Rhine noticed fumes coming from the double bottom of the barge. The local authorities and fire department were alerted immediately.

The captain and crew coordinated their emergency response with shore personnel and the emergency authorities. The crew was evacuated as a result of an engine room fire caused by nitric acid leaking from one of the ship’s tanks containing 270m3 of product. As a safety measure, the barge was lowered to the river bottom. The local emergency response team is now in charge and are controlling and coordinating the response to the incident. There are no reports of injuries to any personnel or persons in the vicinity.

According to the local emergency response team, nitric acid has leaked into the river and has immediately been diluted due to the strong current in the river, minimizing damage to the environment. The fumes from the incident are understood to be evaporating rapidly and the concentration is below the allowed safety level. Residents of the immediate area have been alerted by the authorities.

The ship was loaded with 1,352m3 of nitric acid. The barge Stolt Main is presently on stand-by in Uerdingen and the Stolt Hoechst is on its way to give assistance, if required.

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