Engine room fire

A large bulk vessel, whilst on passage, experienced a major fire in the engine room. The crew eventually extinguished the fire using the fixed carbon dioxide fire suppression system. We were appointed by Owners P&I to investigate the cause and circumstance of the incident.

We immediately sent an investigator to the vessel and commenced our investigation. Following interviews with the crew, we established that there had been a fire in one of the auxiliary engines. At the time of our attendance no one had entered the engine room and we helped arrange for a generator and ventilation ductwork to be brought on-board to make the engine room safe. Following this, we conducted checks of the atmosphere and determined that it was safe to enter the engine room and commence our investigation. During our inspection, we found that a recently replaced fuel injection pipe had failed at a weld joint. The pipe was a manufactured part and by following the paperwork trail we were able to establish that it had recently been purchased as well as identify the manufacturer. We took the incident pipe back to our Hong Kong offices and our materials scientist undertook a detailed metallurgical inspection of the pipe. During the inspection, we identified that the weld had been poorly applied and there was sufficient evidence to show that an inherent defect was present.

Following the preparation of a detailed report on the incident, we had a meeting with the manufacturers and their experts. The outcome of this meeting was the manufacturer coming to an agreement with Owners for settlement of the loss.

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