Breaking News: Multiple System Failures Caused Engine Room Fire Aboard Bulk Carrier
TEXT Source: ATSB Halon System Fails to Fully Discharge – Room Ineffectively Sealed – Maintenance Faulted
ATSB has issued report regarding a fire which started in the engine room of the bulk carrier Marigold, while it was loading a cargo of iron ore in Port Hedland, Western Australia. Firefighting by the ship’s crew included activating the Halon gas fixed fire suppression system for the engine room. However, a full release of Halon gas did not occur, nor was the engine room effectively sealed. Consequently, the fire continued for about 12 hours until it burnt itself out.
The ATSB determined that the fire began on Marigold’s number one generator after a fuel oil pipe fitting on it failed. The resulting spray of fuel oil likely contacted a hot surface on the generator and ignited. The deployment of the ship’s Halon gas fixed fire suppression system was ineffective, as a full release of Halon gas did not occur and the engine room was not effectively sealed.