Fuel leak likely the cause in MS Nordlys fire

A fuel leak probably triggered the fire on board the Hurtigruten ship MS Nordlys in September, according to AIBN. The fire claimed two lives.

September 15, Norwegian coastal steamer Nordlys began to burn as the ship was on its way to the port of Aalesund. 11 crew and 207 passengers were on board when the fire started. Two of the ship’s staff were killed in the accident.
The Accident Commission, in a preliminary report, stated that the fire probably started in the starboard main engine. A fuel leak is presented as the cause of the accident.

September 15, Norwegian coastal steamer Nordlys began to burn as the ship was on its way to the port of Aalesund. 11 crew and 207 passengers were on board when the fire started. Two of the ship’s staff were killed in the accident.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway, in a preliminary report, stated that the fire probably started in the starboard main engine. A fuel leak is presented as the cause of the accident.

AIBN describes three vulnerabilities in its report. First, the leaked fuel from the engine.

A fuel pump that was replaced 12 days before the fire had sprung a leak, according to surveys. AIBN  has found violations in the pipe leading fuel in return from the fuel pump, a feed pipe and the oil pipe to the pump.

The bolts that held the fuel pump in place were so loose that they could be turned by hand, writes the AIBN. They assume that the breaches in the tubes were due to the loosened bolts.

The second vulnerability is the lack of isolation of the hot engine areas.

Fuel had leaked beyond the hot surfaces of the engine itself. Among other things, the fuel met cranes that indicate the pressure in the engine cylinders. These cranes were not well-enough isolated, and can achieve a heat of 220 degrees.

“The Accident Investigation Board considers it very likely that the above mentioned fuel leak had reached such hot surfaces and thus triggered the fire,” they write in the report.

The last security breach was with the emergency generator. Dampers to ensure cooling of the generator were found in the closed position. Thus, the generator overheated, the engine cooling systems put out of action and the engine stopped shortly after the fire started.

The fire in the engine room caused extremely hot temperatures. Findings in the motor show that aluminum had melted and steel structures had been deformed in the engine room.

Two of the crew members perished in the fire, while two were hospitalized with serious injuries. All the 207 passengers made it off the ship without physical injury.

Source: Aftenposten

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