Indian VLCC Suffers Explosion Off Oman

Desh Vaibhav explosion
File photo shows the Very Large Crude Carrier MT Desh Vaibhav. Photo: MarineTraffic.com

Update: SCI Confirms Two Casualties from VLCC Explosion

A VLCC belonging to the Shipping Corporation of India suffered an explosion in a cargo tank on Tuesday off the coast of Oman, the company has confirmed. 

The vessel, named Desh Vaibhav, was underway to Fujairah, UAE when the explosion took place at around 0935 hours, the company said. 

A stock exchange disclosure said that the fire had been extinguished and the ship is fully manned and operational.

An earlier update posted to SCI’s said three personnel were reported missing while one other person with injuries was being evacuated by helicopter.

“Assistance has been sought from the Oman Royal Navy and other ships in the vicinity. As per latest status, the fire has subsided and a firefighting vessel is expected to reach the vessel shortly to cool down the tanks,” the statement said.

We understand that the three missing crew members have been rescued and returned to the ship. 

AIS ship tracking data showed the Desh Vaibhav as “Not Under Command” as of 1537 UTC.

Based on reports, the ship is not laden with oil.

A photo that has been circulated on social media (posted below) shows a damage to a forward cargo tank consistent with reports, however we are unable to confirm its authenticity.

The India-flagged M/T Desh Vaibhav was built in 2005 and has a deadweight of 316,409 tonnes. It is one of four VLCCs operated by the SCI, according to the company’s website.

Desh Vaibhav explosion and fire
This unconfirmed photo shows supposed damaged to the M/T Desh Vaibhav.