Thailand Tanker Explodes Killing Two People and Injuring Others

Thailand Tanker Explodes Killing Two People and Injuring Others

 Small clean product tanker Smooth Sea 22 exploded while undergoing maintenance at the Ruammit Dockyard at the mouth of the Mae Klong river in Thailand’s Muang district southwest of the capital Bangkok, according to Thailand’s Marine Department, which oversees the country’s’ water transport systems and maritime commercial activities.

 The organisation chronicled its response on its social media pages to the major explosion that ripped the 6,500-dwt tanker vessel apart and claimed two lives.

 “With a total crew of 17 people, at the time of the accident, there were… technicians from shore on board the ship. There was a fire whilst the vessel was located at the pier of Ruammit Dockyard Co Ltd, resulting in two fatalities, with five missing,” the Marine Department post said via Google translation.

 In an earlier post, the organisation said 10 had also been injured in the explosion, with four sent to hospital. The two posts show discrepancies in the number of crew and number of technicians on board at the time.

 The organisation noted it worked with other agencies to control and extinguish the fire and it had opened an investigation that aimed to determine the cause of the explosion, with a report due in 10 days as directed by Thailand’s Minister of Transport and Deputy Minister of Transport. 

 “A fire team from Samut Songkhram Municipality took control of the fire. And rescue teams are searching for injured and missing,” the Marine Department said, describing the missing as a “shipyard mechanic team”.

 Local reports in the Bangkok Post and other media outlets said the vessel was carrying more than 30,000 litres of bunker oil and 2,500 litres of diesel fuel, citing local officials including Samut Songkram province governor Somnuk Phromkeaw.

 The governor told reporters emergency responders had found “two bodies which are being forensically examined”.

 The seven vessels listed on the Smooth Sea company website’s fleet page do not include Smooth Sea 22. Vessel valuation website lists the company as registered owner of the vessel, which is listed as having been built in 2018. The company’s Facebook page says Smooth Sea Co, Ltd “is recognised as an oil/chemical tanker shipping company that services petroleum and chemical products via seawater transport. Recently, the company manages the vessels for domestic and foreign trading”.

 Thailand’s Marine Department reported the vessel was carrying both hull and machinery insurance in the amount of US$1.8M and protection and indemnity insurance “with a credit limit of US$1,000M”. VesselsValue estimated the vessel’s market value at US$17M.

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