Greater ChinaOperationsTankers

Blaze put out on Vietnamese tanker off Hong Kong

The Vietnamese product tanker that suffered a massive explosion while taking on bunker fuel near an outlying island in Hong Kong on Tuesday morning is not in danger of sinking, local authorities have said.

One seafarer is confirmed dead and another two are missing following the blaze, which led the local news all day in the southern Chinese city.

The fire on the Aulac Fortune was put out after nearly five hours on Tuesday afternoon, and although the badly damaged ship is listing at 30 degrees the local fire services department has said the ship is not at risk of sinking.

The plan will be to stabilise the vessel and to let it cool down for a couple of days before towing it away. There are no signs of pollution at present. The ship was coming from nearby Dongguan when the accident happened.

No cause for the explosion, which was heard from up to 20 km away, has been given.


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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