Cause of ship fire remains mystery

·2 min read

INVESTIGATION is still ongoing to find out the reason behind the fire incident that broke out in the ill-fated mv General Romulo and claimed the life of one seafarer on Sunday, April 17, 2022.

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Cebu spokesperson Lt. Krysta Bergantin told SunStar Cebu Monday, April 18, that personnel from the Coast Guard were still conducting boundary cooling because the interior of the ship was still impenetrable due to hot temperature. Boundary cooling is a firefighting method in ship fires that prevents or reduces heat from escaping the space on fire by protecting exposures and halting the spread of fire (Asia Pacific Fire magazine).

The ship’s management also provided dry chemicals that were used in putting out the fire since using a lot of water can result in flooding inside the vessel.

The extreme condition inside the ship’s engine room has prevented the PCG personnel from penetrating and have a closer look to determine the cause of the fire.

Based on initial reports, crew members were working inside the engine room of the ship when the fire broke out; however, an in-depth investigation is still necessary to determine the exact cause of the incident, said Bergantin.

Bergantin added that the PCG is also waiting for the ship’s captain to file a marine protest, a notarized statement of the captain containing necessary information that can be used in the investigation.

The PCG is not rushing the vessel’s management as it has taken into consideration the current conditions of crew members who could still be traumatized because of the incident.

The fire claimed the life of the ship’s second engineer while three other crew members who sustained major burns in the different parts of their bodies are still recovering in the hospital.

The remaining 19 seafarers onboard the vessel were rescued by the PCG, and they suffered only minimal injuries.

The PCG’s environmental protection group has been deployed to monitor any incident of oil spill coming from the vessel.

Even though the incident took place in an anchorage area, Bergantin said the maritime traffic and operations have not been affected. (IRT, HBL, AYB)

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