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Hanjin Pennsylvania

Hanjin Pennsylvania
Accident date
Indian Ocean
Accident area
150 km south of Sri Lanka
Spill area
Cause of spill
Nature of pollutant
phosphorus and fireworks
Ship / structure type
Container ship
Built date
Hanjin Heavy Industries, South Korea
281.5 m
32.2 m
13.02 m
Reederei F Laeisz GmbH, Germany
Hanjin Shipping, Seoul, South Korea

Freshly delivered by a south Korean shipyard, the Liberian container ship Hanjin Pennsylvania was on her way to Hamburg (Germany). On 11 November 2002, 150 km south of the Sri Lankan coast, a fire began in the hold. Containers with phosphorus and fireworks caught fire and exploded.

A huge fire forced the crew to abandon the ship and 2 men died in this accident. The Hanjin Pennsylvania was towed to a port to discharge the containers and then sold to breakers since the rebuilding costs would be more expensive. Nevertheless, the hull was bought by a British company which contracted with a Chinese shipyard to have the ship completely rebuilt. The new version of Hanjin Pennsylvania is now sailing as the Norasia Bellatrix.

Experts suggested the likely cause of the explosion was not a container full of fireworks. Indeed, according to the managing company Hanjin Shipping, the fire was understood to have started below deck and the fireworks were supposed to be carried on deck. The similarity of the explosions and fire onboard Hanjin Pennsylvania present a resemblance to accidents where a commodity known as calcium hypochorite has been identified as the main cause, like in the CMA Djakarta case.


-International Longshoremans Wharehouse Union Local 13

Last update on 14/09/2009

External links

Phosphorus, Material Safety Data Sheets

CIIMAR database:  fate and weathering of Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) involved

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