Odfjell Reports on Accident Onboard M/T NCC MEKKA

Friday, June 11, 2004
Odfjell has confirmed that second injured crewmember passed away last night. Since the accident onboard M/T NCC MEKKA he has been under intensive medical treatment at a specialist hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A Maritime Enquiry was held on board M/T NCC MEKKA on June 9 while the ship was at anchor in Rio de Janeiro. The Enquiry was administered by the Norwegian General Consul in Brazil and attended by Maritime Investigator John Ramsoy from the Norwegian Maritime Directorate (NMD) and Odfjell's Risk Manager, Capt. Toralf Sorenes. Several witnesses were heard during the Enquiry and a survey of the area of the explosion was also carried out. At the time of the explosion cargo tank 1 center starboard was in the process of being cleaned and indications are that the explosion originated inside this tank. No breaches of procedures or failure of relevant equipment were found during the Enquiry and the following inspection of the area. During the Enquiry it became obvious that the crew had reacted swiftly and done an outstanding job with fire fighting and first aid. The fire was extinguished in a very short time and heat transfer and potential escalation of the fire into other tanks were avoided. The ship will stay in Rio de Janeiro for the next few days to carry out further inspections in order to establish what repairs are necessary. Odfjell is continuously working to improve the safety level on our ships and we are now concentrating our efforts towards safety measures for cargo operations. M/T NCC MEKKA is a 37.272 dwt. chemical tanker built in Norway in 1995. The ship is registered in Norway and classed by Det Norske Veritas (DNV). M/T NCC MEKKA is owned by National Chemical Carriers Ltd of Saudi Arabia, and operated commercially and managed by Odfjell ASA in Bergen, Norway.

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