The Stolt-Nielsen’s product tanker Jo Kiri blocked Houston Ship Canal after reporting fire in engine room. The vessel was headed north, but near the 85-kilometer mark in the waterway at Eagle Point, the crew observed smoke in the engine compartment and reported the accident to the US Coast Guard. The traffic at the busy shipping way was blocked for about an hour during firefighting, but after the flames were extinguished, the ship was towed to Vo Pak terminal for special survey and safety inspection. There were no reported injuries and significant damages of the vessel during the accident, but ship will be detained until further investigation.
After flames were completely extinguished and the vessel was towed outside the shipping way, the traffic at Houston Ship Canal was reopened. There was no significant congestion at the route, which connects the busiest U.S. petrochemical port to the Gulf of Mexico.
The product tanker Jo Kiri (IMO: 9266231) is operated by privately held Jo Tankers AS, which was acquired by Stolt-Nielsen Ltd in November. The vessel has overall length of 145.00 m, moulded beam of 24.00 m and maximum draft of 7.60 m. The deadweight of the ship is 19,508 DWT and the gross tonnage is 11,769 GRT. The product tanker was built in 2003 by Shimanami Shipyard in Imabari, Japan.