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René 16

Name
René 16
Accident date
16/01/1976
Location
Sweden
Accident area
Port of Landskrona
Spill area
Port/harbour
Cause of spill
Structural damage
Product transported
Anhydrous ammonia
Quantity transported
550 tonnes
Nature of pollutant
Anhydrous ammonia
Quantity spilled
180 tonnes
Ship / structure type
Gas tanker
Flag
Belgian

The Belgian gas carrier René 16 entered the port of Landskrona (Sweden) to unload its cargo of 550 tonnes of anhydrous ammonia, intended for a fertiliser plant on the port complex.

During the unloading operation, a pipe burst due to the incompatibility of its construction material with ammonia. In total, 180 tonnes leaked out in 50 minutes. A vast cloud enveloped the vessel, before moving in the direction of the wind towards a shipyard where 2 people were at work.

The fire service used pressurised water to spray the cloud so that a valve could be closed to stop the leak. The fire fighters, wearing protective clothing and equipment, boarded the vessel to close the valve of the discharge pipeline. After the cloud of ammonia had dispersed,
2 members of the crew were found dead on the quayside. The investigation showed that they had been sprayed with ammonia.

Last update: 29/06/2011

See also

Chemical Response Guide, Ammonia (PDF)