Two killed in engine room fire

The MV Nordly drama continues to unfold in Alesund, Norway. The ship was reported rocked by an explosion, which occurred shortly after 9 am on September 15th, 2011, in the engine room of the 11,204 GT cruise ferry ship. The ship is operated by Norway based Hurtigruten (aka Norwegian Coastal Express), but is owned by Bergen based Kirberg Shipping, a company backed by the Odfjell ship-owning family.

The fire, described by the local fire chief as “big and intense” has killed 2 persons, presumably engine room crew members, and sent another 12 to hospital, two of them with serious injuries. The ship’s 207 passengers, and 55 crew members, were evacuated “in an organized and orderly” manner, shortly after the start of the emergency, 100 by lifeboat, the rest when the ship reached the dock in Alesund.

The fire, contained to the engine room, was brought under control, after 12 hrs, by local fire brigade, and specialized firefighting / salvage teams from SMIT in Holland.

A “mysterious hole” was found in behind the stabilizer, apparently unrelated to the fire, flooding two of the ship’s hold, causing a severe list to port. News report say the flooding has been brought under control, and the vessel has regained most of its even keel. Police have been aboard and are investigating, and news report state the police are unconvinced that an explosion occurred.

The 12,000 hp, DNV classed Nordlys was built in Germany in 1994, and is powered by twin MaK 6M552 engines on variable pitched propellers. It operates on the Bergen – Kirkenes route, covering nearly the entire western coast of Norway in seven days. It has a capacity for 691 passengers, 55 crew members and 50 cars. The ship is expected to be towed to nearby Fiskerstrand shipyard, for repairs. The ship has two sister ship in operation for the same company.

Video and pictures from various internet sources. The company has posted contact information for those affected by this event here. Here, here and here are more articles on the event. You can see more pics here.

Update – Sept 18, 2011

Dead, are 18-year-old Marine Engineer Apprentice, Steffen Ulvatne, ten days into his apprenticeship, and came from Honningsvag in Finnmark, and 57-year-old Geir Terje Isaksen of Tverlandet outside Bodø, who was Chief Engineer of the MV Nordlys, he leaves three children behind. More.

My sincerest condolences to their family.

Two other men, aged 54 and 28 years old, remain in Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, with severe fire and smoke damage.

The ship has been stabilized, recovered from 22 degree list it precariously laid, alongside, in Alesund harbour. Salvage of the contents of the vessel has now begun.

More Pictures on scene.

This article has 2 Comments

  1. The Accident Investigation Board Norway has issued a prelimenary report about the accident: there was found loose bolts on a fuel pump, these may have caused a fuel leak, which probably was ignited by hot surfaces close to the fuel pump.

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