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Over half of fatalities from bulk carrier losses in last decade due to cargo liquefaction

More than half the 188 lives lost in bulk carrier losses in the last decade were in incidents that involved cargo liquefaction.

Intercargo said that of 188 fatalities from some 48 bulk carrier total losses of over 10,000 dwt

between 2009 to 2018 some 101 lives lost from nine cases all which involved cargo failure or liquefaction.

The liquefaction casualties involved six bulk carriers carrying nickel ore from Indonesia, two with laterite (clay) iron ore from India and one with bauxite from Malaysia.

Read more: The difficulties of enforcing regulations on the dangerous nickel ore trade

While there were no reported losses of bulk carriers last year Intercargo said there was no room for complacency.

Of particular concern to Intercargo is the failure by flag states to submit investigation reports, which are yet to be submitted for nearly half the total losses in the last decade.

"Lessons learnt from past incidents play an important role in determining the scope of additional safety improvements. Twenty-three investigation reports on these 48 losses were still not submitted to IMO by their flag States, as per information on IMO GISIS database at end January 2019," Intercargo said.

In the case of the sinking of the VLOC Stellar Daisy on 31 March 2017 with the loss of 22 lives the report by the Republic of Marshall Islands was only released five days ago and Intercargo had repeatedly urged for its timely submission to IMO.

Intercargo said it welcomed the publication of the investigation report into the Stellar Daisy and would, “carefully study the report to contribute to this direction and urges all relevant administrations, that have not done so, to investigate incidents and publish the reports in a timely manner”.