Two Seriously Injured in Oil Tanker Fire

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On December 29, an oil tanker caught fire off the Larnaca coast with two crew members sustaining burn injuries.

What happened?

The oil tanker ‘Athlos’ caught fire off the Larnaca coast and two crew members were rushed to the Nicosia general hospital after suffering burn injuries. A total of seventeen crew members were present onboard the vessel when the incident occurred.

Reason for fire unclear

The oil tanker flying under the Malta flag caught fire and the reason for the tanker catching fire remains unclear. The vessel was enroute from Greece and had set sail without cargo but was loaded with 100 tonnes of its own fuel.

The crew members alerted the control center and members of the fire service along with port police rushed to the scene, but the fire had already been doused by the crew members.

Crew rescued

Among the seventeen crew members who were onboard the vessel, two crew members identified as Indian nationals sustained serious burn injuries and were rushed to the hospital for further treatment. Five crew members who fell into the sea following an explosion were rescued by members of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Larnaca before being transferred to state hospitals.

The JRCC coordinated the rescue mission by deploying units to rescue the crew and towed other vessels to safety. A helicopter of the Cyprus police aviation unit was also deployed to provide imagery in case of an oil leak in the sea.

Investigation initiated

No oil leak was reported but the fisheries department has taken preventative measures in view of a potential oil leak by placing a protective barrier around the ship. The officials have also been stationed at the scene for constant monitoring.

The ship has been ordered to remain anchored until the marine accident investigation committee determines the cause of the explosion and fire. The tanker has acquired a tilt as a result of water entering the vessel following the blast.

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Source: Cyprus Mail Online

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