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Julie A

Nom
Julie A
Date de l'accident
04/11/1989
Lieu
Denmark
Zone du naufrage
Port of Aarhus
Zone du déversement
Port/harbour
Cause de l'accident
Avarie
Produit transporté
Acide chlorhydrique
Quantité transportée
Inconnue
Nature polluant
hydrochloric acid
Type de navire / structure
Longueur
0
Largeur
0
Tirant d'eau
0

The incident

On 4 November 1989, the cargo ship Julie A, moored in the Port of Aarhus (Denmark), reported a leak in one of the 3 tanks stored in a hold below deck, containing 300 tonnes of hydrochloric acid 33%. This is a highly corrosive chemical which can react with iron and form a flammable gas: hydrogen. The cargo ship’s engines were therefore shut down.

When the members of the response team arrived onboard the Julie A, they found themselves knee-deep in hydrochloric acid and had a visibility of only 2 metres. They found a 25 mm hole in the leaking tank, which they plugged with a wooden wedge.

The leak was caused by the internal tank coating which was not resistant enough to hydrochloric acid.

The spilt acid spread not only across the deck, but also into the ballast tank and threatened to reach the bottom of the ship. To prevent the cargo from being released into the environment, appropriate equipment had to be found to pump out the pollutant, which proved difficult. Some of the acid was transferred to a tank on the shore. During pumping operations, the teams noticed that the ship’s stability was decreased. The following day, the Julie A was moved to a dry dock where the pollutant was recovered through a hole drilled in the bottom of the ship.

Response

Spill response was carried out successfully. This incident showed that the equipment used to transport hazardous substances must be compatible with the risks presented by the cargo.

Sources:

- HELCOM, 2002, HELCOM response Manual - Volume 2
- Helsinki commission, 2002

Last update on 11/06/2010
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