One seaman died and three were poisoned after gas leaked in the engine control room of the general cargo ship Vimaru Pearl off Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. The vessel was carrying rice from Vietnam to the Philippines, when the accident occurred, and was pushed the alter course and emergency dock in the port of northwest Borneo. All the people in the engine room were poisoned by gas, which leak into the compartment. One of the poisoned engineers died at the accident, while another three were seriously intoxicated and in coma. After arriving in Malaysia all the injured people were transported to the hospital and later returned in consciousness in stable condition. The general cargo ship Vimaru Pearl was detained for decontamination of the engineering compartment and for further inspection.
The local authorities initiated investigation for the root cause of the accident and the responsible for the gas leak. According to preliminary information, the gas leaked from the rice storage area into the vessel’s engine room after technical failure. The injured people are in stable condition, but will remain in the hospital at least several weeks. The rest of the crew on board was not harmed by the accident.
The general cargo ship Vimaru Pearl (IMO: 9168403) has overall length of 100.60 m, moulded beam of 19.00 m and maximum draft of 7.70 m. The deadweight of the vessel is 8,889 DWT and the gross tonnage is 5,185 GRT. The vessel was built in 1997 by IS Shipyard in Imabari, Japan. The general cargo ship Vimaru Pearl is owned and operated by the Vietnamese company Eastern Dragon Shipping.