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Accident date
Accident area
Port of Paranaguá
Spill area
Cause of spill
Quantity transported
14,000 tonnes of methanol
Nature of pollutant
Bunker fuel oil
Quantity spilled
400 tonnes of bunker fuel oil
Ship / structure type
Chemical tanker
Built date
149 m

On 15 November 2004, two loud explosions occurred aboard the Chilean chemical tanker the Vicuña, during unloading of the cargo of 14,000 tonnes of methanol, in the Brazilian port of Paranaguá. Two crew members were killed in the accident and two others reported missing.
 The vessel broke in two and spilled approximately 400 tonnes of bunker fuel oil. The pollution affected a sensitive region (mangrove swamps and beaches) where fishing and tourism were important economic industries.
 The wreck of the Vicuña was surrounded with antipollution booms12 hours after the accident, to stop the pollution spreading. Fishing and the sale of aquacultural produce were banned in the bay until the contamination risks had disappeared. Dolphins, turtles and birds were affected by the pollution.
 The wreck was lightered over a number of weeks following the accident. On 8 December, the company Smit Salvage was given the task of carrying out operations to remove the wreck. Work began on the 15 January 2005.

Last update on 02/02/2004

See also

Technical Letter from Cedre, Sea and Shore Year 2004: n°8 (French only)

External links

Smit Removal of the wreck

AFCAN Explosion of MT Vicuna, November 15th 2004 Cattalini Pier, Paranagua, Brazil.

Methanol, Material Safety Data Sheets

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

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