Prem Divya: unladen tanker explodes at Fujairah

There were three blasts, December 29, - boom, boom, boom - so the people were in panic. The tanker PREM DIVYA IMO 9138599, had arrived in Fujairah on December 27 for 10 days of "operational care". Workers from local firms had come to check the pipes and do welding in the engine room and other repairs and maintenance.

Ships must receive gas-free approvals before commencing any "hot work", or activities that could start a fire, such as welding, Capt Morad said. "We already got that, so what went wrong, we don't know. Any tanker that has gas in it should be made free of gas before any welding or hot work takes place."

Soon after the explosion late on Thursday afternoon many of the men on board leapt into the water. Neighbouring ships and the coastguard arrived to help them to safety, and the port authorities sent a crew to put out the fire. Empty oil tankers are susceptible to having residual flammable gas on board - even more so than on full tankers, where the gas has less area in which to expand. read

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