FIRE PREVENTION IN THE CARGO CONTAINMENT OF LIQUEFIED GAS CARRIERS IN SHIPYARDS
In the last 35 years a high number of serious casualties have occurred involving fires in the cargo containment system of liquefied gas carriers, whilst the vessels have been in shipyards. Many of these have resulted in multiple fatalities, environmental damage and serious financial loss to the ship-owner. It should also be borne in mind that it is not unknown for ships to be arrested and owners superintendents, or representatives, to be held in custody for lengthy periods whilst accidents are investigated. In 1995, the SIGTTO Secretariat undertook research into the subject and published the results at the Balikpapan Panel Meeting in September 1995. At the time this was thought to be sufficient to alert the industry to the problem, but a recent enquiry has shown that since September 1995 there have been 7 reported incidents resulting in 7 fatalities and the constructive total loss of a vessel undergoing repair. This guide has been prepared by SIGTTO in order to draw attention to the problem and propose risk mitigation measures to those responsible for managing these activities. Whilst this safety guide was being prepared, in July 2001, a fire occurred on a 3200 m3 semi-pressurised LPGC at a repair yard in Slovenia. The fire, which burned for over 2 hours, damaged the structure and insulation of No.1 cargo tank and was caused by hot work during steel-work renewal in the double bottoms. There were no fatalities or injuries.
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