As the UK MAIB describes in its latest Safety Digest, a potential fire hazards from flexible hose installations identified following a fire on board the cargo ship, says an article published on safety4sea.
Suffered serious damage
On 19 September 2021, a fire broke out in the auxiliary engine room on board the Finland registered roll-on/roll-off cargo ship Finnmaster while departing Hull, England.
The fire was contained and subsequently extinguished without injury to the crew, but the equipment in the auxiliary engine room suffered serious damage.
Finnmaster’s auxiliary engine room was equipped with two main alternators. These were driven by marine gas oil (MGO) fuelled engines and named as auxiliary engine 1 (AE) and auxiliary engine 2 (AE).
Each auxiliary engine comprised 12 cylinders in a v-shaped configuration and was rated at 1100 kilowatts. A fuel supply pump supplied the MGO to both auxiliary engines. The fuel supply pipe was then routed to an inboard and outboard set of cartridge filters and a high-pressure fuel injection pump, which were mounted on either side of each engine.
Outboard turbocharger of AE2
The MAIB investigation identified that the fire started below the outboard turbocharger of AE2 when a small-bore flexible fuel hose failed.
Exhaust gas had leaked from the outlet of the turbocharger and caused the fuel hose to overheat and fail allowing MGO to spray onto a high temperature surface, where it ignited and a significant fire developed.
In this case, the flexible hose assemblies were not needed to accommodate relative movement between fixed piping and machinery parts over their entire length between the cartridge filters and the instrument panel.
Furthermore, the routing of the hoses under the turbochargers covered by the insulation pads exposed them to the risk of contact with high temperatures and also made them difficult to inspect.
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