Fire accident occurred in Port Arthur after conveyor belt, which was offloading wooden pellets from bulk carrier Jobst Oldendorff, inflamed. The cargo inflamed during discharging, but many of the burning pellets fell into the hold of the ship. The cargo handling operations were stopped, but the fire extended to the bulk carrier’s hold. The accident was reported to the local authorities and at the scene were sent port firefighting team and equipment. The flames at the conveyor belt were put under control and shortly after that the fire in the hold was also extinguished. The authorities made some cargo shifting in the hold of the bulk carrier, to make sure there are no smoldering pellets.
“We think it was a spark of some type that set the wood on the belt on fire. The silo, one of five into which the ship at dock was scheduled to offload 50,000 tons of wood pellets, was three-quarters full at the time of the fire”, said the Port Arthur Director, Floyd Gaspard. “The silo was at the front end of the ship, about 600 feet from the fuel, which reduced the chance of a blast. Everything was on fire on the belt, in the hole of the ship and the belt made out of rubber, which caused the big black smoke in the sky. Port Arthur Fire Department responded very quickly and had it under control as fast as anybody could have and the fire stayed fully contained”, added he.
The bulk carrier Jobst Oldendorff suffered some damages during the incident, as well as the berth, but extents are under assessment. The vessel will be inspected before restart cargo handling operations. The local authorities initiated investigation for the root cause of the accident. Fortunately during the accident there were no reported injuries and no water pollution.
The bulk carrier Jobst Oldendorff (IMO: 9710892) has overall length of 199.90 m, moulded beam of 32.20 m and maximum draft of 7.40 m. The deadweight of the ship is 61,122 DWT and the gross tonnage is 34,612 GRT. The Malta-flagged bulk carrier Jobst Oldendorff was built in 2014 by Cosco Nantong Shipyard in China.