May 25, 2022

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Used vehicle battery caused weeklong cargo ship fire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Countrywide Transportation Basic safety Board has introduced its investigative report on the June 4, 2020 fire aboard a cargo ship at Blount Island.

NTSB mentioned the fire on the Hoegh Xiamen commenced on the eighth deck of the ship, sparked by an improperly disconnected battery on a person of the 2,400 cars onboard.

The NTSB determined that the ship’s fire detection method was offline for the loading method when the hearth began and was not reactivated until following the smoke was 1st found.

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In accordance to the report, the Jacksonville Fireplace and Rescue Department’s response was delayed for the reason that the ship’s sailing grasp “did not have straight away available call information and facts for look for and rescue authorities and did not know how to report a fire to regional authorities—who to contact, what number to dial, or which frequency to use.”

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The NTSB explained the to start with get in touch with to crisis crews was from anyone onshore. It lists the next timetable:

  • 3:30 p.m.: Smoke initially viewed on the ship

  • 3:45 p.m. Ship’s fire detection process re-activated

  • 3:49 p.m.: Ship’s sailing master begins creating radio phone calls

  • 3:54 p.m.: The distress phone is relayed to the U.S. Coast Guard by one more vessel

  • 3:59 p.m.: An onshore witness calls 911

  • 4:03 p.m.: The to start with JFRD device reaches the ship

In accordance to the report, nine customers of JFRD were hurt while fighting the fire, 5 significantly. The fireplace burned for a complete of 8 days. None of the vessel’s 21 crewmembers was injured.

The ship was a overall reduction and additional than 2,400 cars on board ended up as effectively. There was a full of a lot more than $40 million in problems.

The vessel was towed to Turkey to be recycled in August 2020 soon after salvage operations have been finished. According to the Coastline Guard, since of the tireless initiatives to spray drinking water on the ship’s exterior, the vessel’s hull remained intact — holding it from breaking up and sinking, which was a fantastic factor for security and probable environmental impacts.

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The NTSB concluded numerous of the autos loaded on to the vessel experienced batteries that were not disconnected and secured in accordance with treatments, which increased the possibility of electrical arcing and ingredient faults. During loading functions, both the loading personnel and crew skipped chances to address these dangers, officials explained.

The NTSB proposed that the delivery corporations improve oversight of automobile loading and teaching of personnel involved in battery securement. The agency advisable federal agencies improve regulations for ships that transport employed autos. The NTSB also encouraged that the vessel’s operator revise their processes for the reactivation of fireplace detection systems and making sure emergency speak to facts is promptly offered for bridge groups.

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