Coal ship explosion injures three off Newcastle

AN explosion on a coal ship anchored off Newcastle, New South Wales on Monday has left three of its crew with serious burns. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s team leader of marine investigations, Michael Squires, told International Longwall News that an investigation was being conducted on the vessel today.

Staff Reporter

The three injured crew were airlifted to hospital after the explosion and are reportedly in a stable condition.

Squires said he would be working with another ATSB investigator on the ship, to ascertain what caused the boiler on the coal carrier, the Shirane, to explode.

“We will be looking on the deck site with the chief engineer and at the physical location of the boiler and then interviewing the crew about who did what, why and when,” he said.

“We will also look at procedures and actions that are expected and whether they were followed, and tomorrow we will be on shore to interview the crew that are in hospital.”

Squires said the Shirane was still moored off Newcastle and is due to berth on April 15.

“There is no reason that we’re aware of that would prevent it berthing. The replacement crew are now being sent to the ship and it should be operating legally and safely when it comes in to berth,” Squires said.

The investigation is expected to be completed this week.