Tanker on fire, Persian Gulf, UPDATE Jan 31: 2 died, 3 missing, 8 injured

UPDATE Jan 31: According to Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there were 12 crew and 44 technical staff on board, at the time of an accident. 2 died, 3 went missing, 8 were injured. Understood there was an explosion prior to fire, all landmarks of typical explosion/fire accident on board of tanker in ballast. According to Gulf News, tanker is presently under the name of SAM, Palau-flagged, preparing for final voyage to India’s scrap yard, for dismantling.

UPDATE Jan 30: According to information from different sources, there were 16 people on board, all safely evacuated. Maintenance works mentioned as cause of fire, so assumedly, there were some hot works on cargo deck, or in cargo tank, which sparked off fire and highly likely, explosion. Tanker is in a lay-up for at least two years. Ships in lay-up are prone to all kinds of accidents, including fire, leaks, developing list, etc.

Tanker was reported on fire off Sharjah, UAE, in the afternoon Jan 29. Reports went with video footage and photos, but all being taken too far from the ship. It’s obviously a tanker, a big tanker with that, anchored and in ballast. Later unconfirmed information identified tanker in question as VLCC ZOYA 1, operated by UAE company. Tanker in ballast is anchored off Sharjah since at least year 2018, due to financial and legal disputes, including unpaid crew wages. It is highly likely, that the ship has on board some watchmen at best, not regular crew. Or maybe tanker is unmanned. Obviously, gas in empty tank or tanks somehow inflamed, maybe igniting residues in tanks bottom part.

IMRRA, FleetMon’s official Vessel Risk Rating Partner, risk assessed this tanker as having a AMBER risk rating, with a specific risk rating of 41% (20-JUL-18), compared to the fleet average 36%. New risk assessment reports can be purchased via FleetMon.
Red: Poorest performing; Amber: Average value; Green: Good indicator.

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