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Cruise ship explosion due to corrosion

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/05/2017

<span style="font-size:13px;">An exploding nitrogen cylinder on a cruise ship in Port Chalmers in February that killed a crew member was corroded due to the harsh marine conditions it faced.</span> © REUTERS/Scanpix Sweden/Bjorn Lindgren An exploding nitrogen cylinder on a cruise ship in Port Chalmers in February that killed a crew member was corroded due to the harsh marine conditions it faced. The death of a man who was struck by an exploding nitrogen cylinder on a cruise ship berthed in Port Chalmers in February was caused by the harsh marine conditions the cylinder faced, and more frequent inspections have been recommended.

The Filipino crew member, whose named has not been released, was struck by the exploding cylinder on the Emerald Princess  after 5pm on February 9.

The explosion was heard by people all around the port, it was reported at the time.

In the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) report released on Thursday, it says the nitrogen cylinder for lifeboat number 124 - one of 104 cylinders available to help launch lifeboats and rescue boats from the cruise ship, if required - was showing lower-than-normal pressure levels.

Following maintenance, one of the nitrogen cylinders exploded, killing the crewman, an engine room fitter.

The report said the banks of nitrogen cylinders were fitted on a covered but open deck and exposed to salt spray and sea air.

"The burst nitrogen cylinder had suffered significant external corrosion at the point of failure," the report said.

While the cylinders were inspected two weeks prior to the accident, there was a concern that corrosion could pose a danger to crew and passengers in the future.

The commission recommended to the Cruise Lines International Association that more frequent checks on the cylinders - than the current annual inspections - are carried out.

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