Bulker Ignites in Port of Kembla

Over 100 firefighters were sent to extinguish a fire which ignited in the bulk carrier Iron Chieftain at the Port of Kembla, Australia.

The vessel was docked at a port in Wollongong, south of Sydney, at the time of the incident. It arrived at the port on June 15, where it has been unloading dolomite since.

In the early morning hours of June 18, a fire reportedly broke out on a conveyor belt, spreading into the ship’s hold.

Iron Chieftain’s 22 seafarers were evacuated and there were no reports of injuries, according to the New South Wales’ fire and rescue agency.

Although there were no evidence of a fuel or oil leak at the site, relevant authorities placed booms around the vessel as a precaution. The fire and rescue agency added that the vessel is structurally sound.

The 50,587 dwt bulker, operated by Canadian CSL Group, arrived to the Port of Kembla from Australia’s Port of Ardrossan.

Port operations at Port Kembla were shortly suspended after the incident, which occurred alongside BlueScope Berth 113. Port movements were resumed at around 11.30 hours local time on June 18.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) launched an investigation to look into the fire and subsequent control measures, interview the crew and fire services personnel and gather additional information.

World Maritime News Staff

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