Incident Information Regarding Fire in Engine Room

This incident refers to a fire that started in the main engine room of a merchant vessel when at sea. Both main engines were stopped by the crew. The ship had full electrical power supply during the whole event due to separate auxiliary engine room. The crew used CO2 and water to put out the fire, which was finally extinguished after approximately four hours.

2013.08.23 - Incident Information Regarding Fire in Engine Room Figure 1

The main engine room was entirely burned out, including some minor adjacent compartments not protected with A60 insulation. The fire most probably started due to the breakage of a flexible hose on the low pressure fuel return piping on one of the main engines. The fuel sprayed on to a hot surface and ignited. Temperature at indicator cock measured to 324 °C.

2013.08.23 - Incident Information Regarding Fire in Engine Room Figure 2

This incident highlights the following:

  • Flanges, turbine housings, clamps and various bolts and nuts on engines should be checked for insufficient insulation.
  • Many areas on engines often prove to be hotter than expected (<220 °C), such as indicator cocks, various clamps and bolts and where the insulation underneath tinplates is dislocated or not thick enough.
  • Control of flexible hoses should be included in the planned maintenance system.
  • Flexible hoses should only be applied where relative movements can be expected. Where this is not the case, steel pipes are to be utilised. Note: flexible hoses have a limited lifetime depending on the environmental conditions they are exposed to, and the medium they are applied for.
  • Fuel oil piping, including flexible hoses, are to be properly shielded.

Source: DNV

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