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Stora Korsnäs Link I

Name
Stora Korsnäs Link I
Accident date
05/11/1991
Location
Great Britain
Accident area
10 nautical miles east off Teesside, England
Spill area
Offshore
Cause of spill
Fire
Quantity transported
40 tonnes
Nature of pollutant
Sodium chlorate
Ship / structure type
Passenger ship
Flag
Swedish

On 5 November 1991, the Swedish ferry Stora Korsnäs Link I was on a voyage from Sweden to Hartlepool (England) when a fire started in the machine room. Unsuccessful attempts were made to extinguish the fire and the crew was forced to shut down the engines.
 
 Rescue personnel were sent onboard the vessel but the fire could not be extinguished. The salvage company had contacted the owner of the cargo and found out that the ship did not only carry different forest products. 40 tonnes of sodium chlorate stowed within two containers were located on the lower deck. This chemical is potentially explosive and represented a real danger. When this was discovered, the ship was quickly abandoned and a one-mile exclusion zone was established.
 
 A vessel with firefighting equipment was sent, but attempts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful and it spread to the other cargo decks. On 8 November, an explosion occurred and blew out the side of the ship causing the ship to roll over and capsize. After a few hours the ship sank to a depth of 40 m. Despite how serious this accident was, it caused no injuries.

Sources:

  • HELCOM, 2002, HELCOM Response Manual - Volume 2
  • HOOKE, Norman, 1997, Maritime Casualties 1963-1996, second edition, LLP Limited, London
Last update: 17/08/2009

External links

Sodium chlorate, Material Safety Data Sheets