A sudden blast aboard an MSC containership off the coast of Puerto Rico forced crew to spring into action to stem the influx of water and stabilize the vessel, avoiding any injury and pollution.
The U.S. Coast Guard says the explosion occurred late Friday afternoon aboard MSC Idil with 25 people onboard, approximately 60 nautical miles north of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The crew of the 900-foot Panamanian flagged container ship is all accounted for and no injuries were reported following the incident that caused the container ship to begin listing and take on water into a fuel tank and cargo compartment.
Following the expolosion, crew of the MSC Idil were able stabilized the situation and were controlling the ship’s stability using onboard water pumps to manage flooding.
The MSC Idil reported the explosion was most likely caused by welding that was taking place on board the vessel. The Idil also reported they have full control of their cargo and that they have not released any hazardous materials into the environment but are taking actions to mitigate any potential release. The vessel is reported to have 588,000 gallons of fuel oil and 62,000 gallons of diesel on board.
Aerial assessments have not detected any signs of pollution.