Oil barge explode in

An oil barge exploded in Samarinda, E.Kalimantan, Indonesia:

Blaming Allah again.

Oh my God!!!
What else could he say or do??

It seems they did hot work and forgot to check, if the environment was really gas free. Maybe they relied on Allah too much God willing?

What do you know about SOP at shipyards in Samarinda??
Have you ever been to one, or even know where it is??

Worked oil barges all during my career. The first explosion was due to improper hot work, and not totally gas freeing on a black oil barge. What the yard crew wasn’t aware of, it loaded/discharged crude the trip before, not black oil. Was my assigned unit, and thankfully on my time off. A few didn’t make it. Was in my late teens. The other that happened a few years later at a different company was improper grounding. Not my rig but was nearby. This more recent electrical thing with Bouchard spooks the shit out of me.



Well, once at Amsterdam I was asked to inspect tanks of a tanker being repaired at a shipyard. I asked about ship being gas free. The Master laughed and said they had been in the yard for a week. A few minutes later there was a big explosion + mushroom cloud … and I decided to go home. Same at Abidjan, Ivory Coast. They were doing some repairs on my tanker weather deck and suddenly the whole thing exploded. A spark had jumped into the tank below … I have only inspected >1000 tanks on >100 ships and I always check them for gas myself before entering using my own equipment. I never trust anyone going into a tank. Once I was at Surabaya, Indonesia, to inspect some ships. But the whole thing was just a laugh. Garbage, all of it. I went ice skating at the local rink instead. Have you ever inspected an oil cargo tank?


Good practice.

What has all this got to do with Allah, or something that happened in Samarinda a few days ago?

Yes many times over many years, incl. at shipyards in Samarinda.

In the link you provided Inch Allah was mentioned. It means God willing. Nothing wrong with it, but when I enter any ship tank for inspection looking for cracks, etc, I always check for gas and O2 myself before entering.

Heiwa,you already mentioned that.

The one that said “Inch’Allah” was noticing the event from afar. He was NOT involved in any repairs going on on that barge and had absolutely nothing to do with inspecting the level of combustible gas in the tanks.

I don’t know what caused the initial fire, or what set off the explosion. Neither do you.

If he was an English speaker he may have said, “Oh my God”. Nothing surprising or sinister about either reaction.

A Norwegian or Swede may say, “Herre Gud” in the same situation

Possibly, ‘Crikey, look at that chaps’ if he was a Brit.

Well, I know when a gas pocket explodes on an oil tanker. Bergesen had two ore/oilers that exploded and sank when they were doing (crazy) hot work on them at sea with the double bottom full of gas.

The Berge Istra and Berge Venga were sister ships and OBO carriers that both had similar accidents. As did the British OBO Derbyshire.

All disappeared on voyages to Japan loaded with iron ore from Brazil and Canada respectively.

The reason for the disappearance of three large ships under similar circumstances has never been fully explained. Both the Berge Istra and Venga was sailing in good weather, while the Derbyshire was hove to because of a Typhoon near Japan according to the latest reports sent.

Two Spanish ABs on the Berge Istra survived. They were working Fwrd when they heard tree loud explosions. They spent 20 days on a small paint raft that drifted off when the ship sunk in minutes.

The theory of hot work in the pipe tunnel was ventured in the Liberian report for Berge Venga and disputed by Bergesen, since the ship had been gas freed on the ballast voyage from Rotterdam to Brazil, before loading ore.

PS> Maybe the two Spaniards .exclaimed “Oh Dios mio” when they saw and heard the explosions. (??)

The Derbyshire did not have an explosion.
She was overwhelmed by a Typhoon, a similar fate to the El Faro

Sinking of the Derbyshire - 1980 | Devastating Disasters

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No. Berga Istra and Berge Venga were Norwegian flag ore/oilers. They carried ore in ten center holds to Japan from Brazil and oil in wing tanks and center holds from PG to Brazil or Europe. No other bulk cargoes. They were only in ballast between Japan/PG. What about a double bottom? There was only a double bottom below the center holds and it was used as a tunnel without pipes (???) to discharge the oil in Japan. It was not possible to gas free and clean the double/bottom to do repairs at sea (unless you filled it with water, bla, bla that became dirty and could not be discharged anywhere). The Yugoslav built ships were also full of cracks from beginning that the owners tried to repair at sea. The result? Both ships fully ore loaded exploded in the South Atlantic due to explosive gas in the double bottom and wing tanks. What the Spanish/Norwegians aboard uttered when the blow up is another story. The whole thing was covered up in the usual manner. Please quote me.

You are (as usual) ill informed and not willing to read any factual reports.
(Reminds me of somebody else that suffer from the same syndrome)

Yes that was the conclusion of the reopened enquiry in April 2000.
But other conclusions (or theories) has been presented, both before and after.
Here is another one from 2003:

The same goes for what happened to Berge Istra and Vanga.
Here is one opinion by an engineer that installed the inert gas system on the Berge Istra:

Berge Istra - Langesund og Omegns Sjømannsforening


Here is Google translation of the conclusion:
8.7 Conclusion Ships for combination cargoes have a special risk factor in that large loads and high wear from ore cargoes over time can result in holes and cracks that are not always detected and repaired continuously. My conclusion about the causes of the accidents is therefore closely linked to weak structures such as valves and piping systems that leaked explosive gas from the wing tanks to areas that were not under the supervision of the neutral gas plant, the pump room and the tunnel. Explosive gas formed in these areas of the ship. Then only a small spark was needed to trigger a powerful explosion. It was highly probable that this was what happened on board both ships and that was the direct cause of the tragic accidents. Weak construction and material fatigue did not prevent the leakage of explosive gas from the wing tanks to the pump room and the tunnel. It was therefore serious design defects that were the direct cause of the explosions on board. There are no indications that the neutral gas system did not work properly. During any work in the pump room and in the tunnel, specific routines for measuring gas concentration should have been imposed in advance. After the accidents with “Berge Istra” and “Berge Vanga”, Bergesen realized that the risk with combination vessels was too great and the company therefore decided not to continue with combination loads - iron ore and oil. It also became completely impossible to operate OBO ships after the accidents, as there were no insurance companies that wanted to insure the combination ships. The shipping company Sig. Bergesen d. Y & Co operated “Berge Adria” and “Berge Brioni” as bulk carriers for iron ore until well into the 1980s without any problems. As far as I can understand, this supports my hypothesis that design errors were the cause of the accidents.

Of course “Berge Istra” and “Berge Vanga” and similar ore/oilers were badly designed without any pipes to discharge the oil. They used the double bottom as a “pipe”, i.e. the single bottom wing tanks and center holds were connected to the double bottom below the center hold. To discharge the oil the double bottom was filled with oil. The pump room then emptied the double bottom and discharged the oil. The only way the clean the double bottom was to fill it with water at sea in a storm. Access to the double bottom was via the pump room and a vertical trunk forward. It was impossible to check the double bottom for gas. The ship was never “gas free”. The Norwegians were repairing cracks in the hull and … the ignited the gas in the double bottom. Once I was asked to inspect such a “double bottom” (20 m wide, 2 m deep and 250 m long), which we ventilated from aft ‘pump room’ to the forward trunk so the space was full of pure air (and little gas). But all surfaces were covered by slippery oil, so there was no possibility to move anywhere. I never found the crack in the double bottom boundaries. It took the owners a couple of months to clean the “double bottom” for repairs.