Chemical Tanker Suffers Major Fire Following Collision With Car Carrier Off Busan

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December 30, 2013

A laden chemical tanker has suffered what looks like a catastrophic fire following a collision with a car carrier on sea trials near Busan, South Korea.

South Korea’s Yonhap news reports that the car carrier Gravity Highway was on sea trials from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard when it collided with the Hong Kong-flagged chemical tanker, Maritime Maisie, early Sunday morning about 9 nautical miles from the port of Busan, causing the tanker to catch fire.

The report said that all 91 personnel -27 from the tanker and 64 from the car carrier- were safely rescued by coast guard and navy crews, although some sustained minor burns and abrasions.

The fire was brought under control within a matter of hours, but photos of the Maritime Maisie show extensive damage around amidships. The ship was laden with 29,337 tons of inflammable chemicals when the collision occurred and 4,000 tons of paraxylene and acrylonitrile burned in the fire, according to the Yonhap.

The Gravity Highway is believed to be one of two Pure Car and Truck Carriers under construction at the Hyundai Mipo shipyard for Ray Car Carriers Ltd. The vessel reportedly sustained minor fire damage and has been brought to the nearby shipyard in Ulsan.

The 44,404 DWT Maritime Maisie was built in 2003 and is managed by MSI Ship Management Private Ltd, of Singapore.

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