Yesterday, Sunday, April 17, responders approached a consuming, long-tall black cloud after receiving word that a container had exploded on the philippine-registered ship, General Romulo.
The responding five boats were able to evacuate nineteen crew members from the fire’s grip. However, a statement released earlier today by the Philippine Coast Guard reported that one seafarer was killed while three other crew members got admitted to the hospital from the burns inflicted during the blaze.
The coast guard said that the area showed no signs of an oil spill or contamination. He went on to elaborate on their continuing effort of boundary cooling to reduce the heat on the vessel to prevent the fire from reigniting.
While talking about the potential damages caused by the fire, the coast guard said that his rescue team made several attempts to recover the body of the deceased; however, all efforts were stammered due to the severeness of the blaze, which continued to rage on into the late afternoon.
Although the cause of the explosion has yet to get confirmed, many believe that a pipe explosion was the root of the explosion, spreading all through the accommodations block of the ship. The incident was said to have occurred while the ship was at anchor off Talisay City in Cebu around 9:40 am local time.
General Romulo operated an inter-island container service. The 25-year-old vessel, born in 1998, had a capacity of 519 TEU. At the time of the explosion, the ship is said to have been on her way back to her home port with up to 2,218 tons of general cargo on board; she had left the port of Manila on April 13.