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Four injured in ship explosion, two transferred to Seville burns unit

Photo by Johnny Bugeja

Two crew members who sustained severe burn injuries during an explosion on a Hong Kong-registered bulk carrier on Friday evening have been transferred to Seville’s burns unit as more details emerged about the incident.
The incident on the CSSC Cape Town happened late Friday evening and appeared to be in the area of the vessel’s forecastle, where the vessel’s anchor mechanism is housed.
As a result of the explosion, a total four crew members sustained injuries, and two were treated on board.
The two who were taken to St Bernard’s Hospital were later transferred to the Seville burns unit after sustaining 40% and 25% burns.
On Friday night the Port of Algeciras offered to assist with the evacuation of the injured crew members via helicopter, but the decision was taken by paramedics to take them to St Bernard’s Hospital, where they are being treated.
The vessel will now wait for additional crew to arrive to fill the posts of those who were injured.
Although the vessel has been unable to anchor, it is in constant contact with Gibraltar VTS, the Gibraltar Port Authority said in a press statement.
“The vessel is stable and fully operational with the exception of its anchor equipment,” the GPA added.
“The GPA will continue to work with the ship’s crew and its agents to assist in repairs, provisioning, and if possible, anchoring.”
The CSSC Cape Town entered British Gibraltar Territorial Waters loaded with 112, 365 metric tonnes of coal, loaded at Curtis Bay Coal Terminal in the United States.
The GPA said this cargo does not represent a danger to the vessel or to other vessels in the immediate vicinity, adding that the cargo itself is classed as non-dangerous under the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic.
Technicians will soon go onboard and try to repair the anchor system, and further investigations will also be carried out by clarification and flag state representatives and surveyors.
On Friday night, the Royal Gibraltar Police attended the vessel and began an investigation, but the following afternoon no foul play was suspected.
The CSSC CAPE TOWN is flagged in Hong Kong. It was built in 2020.
It carried 19 crew members, all of whom are Chinese nationals.
Its last port of call was Baltimore in the United States of America and its next port of call is listed as Port Said in Egypt.
“The Gibraltar Port Authority extends its gratitude to all agencies, authorities and individuals who have assisted in dealing with this incident,” the GPA said.
“The GPA also extends it gratitude to the Port of Algeciras for its kind offer of assistance in dealing with the casualties sadly involved in this incident.”

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