static electricity be responsible for tanker explosions?
Late last year a tanker off the coast
of Japan exploded killing two crew members. Before that a oil tanker
docked on a river in China exploded, leaving one dead, and most
recently three were killed when a tanker exploded off the USA coast.
All three vessels were loaded with tons of ethanol/gasoline when
the explosion occurred. Could static electricity be responsible
for all or some of these explosions? As most of our readers know,
static electricity and gasoline can be a deadly combination. Below
are a few details about the tanker explosions.
Tanker explodes off Japan
Two Filipino crew members were missing
after an explosion on board a tanker carrying 4,000 tons of ethanol
in waters off western Japan, a coastguard official said.
The 4,356-ton Sun Venus burst into
flames about 4 miles east of Himejima Island in the Seto Inland
Sea, separating the main Japanese island of Honshu and Shikoku Island,
the official said.
According to a radio message from
the tanker, two of the 19 Filipino crew were missing after the blast,
although none of those accounted for was seriously injured, the
Nine rescue craft were heading to the
scene, "but because the chances of (the vessel) sinking are
slim, the tanker is now sailing under its own power for a nearby
harbor," the official said.
The tanker was on its way to the western
Japanese port of Kobe from South Korea, the official said.
Chinese Tanker Explodes
One sailor is missing following an
explosion on an oil tanker docked on the Xiangjiang River near Changsha,
capital of central China's Hunan province. Police said an electrical
short circuit was the cause of the blast.
Loaded with 495 tons of gasoline, the
Xiangchang Oil Tanker No. 007 was ready to raise anchor from an
oil dock when the explosion occurred.
Two sailors were on the ship at the
time of the accident. One survived by jumping overboard, police
Rescuers are still looking for the
missing sailor, and the cause of the explosion is still under investigation.
Tanker explodes off Virginia coast
At least 3 crew members were killed
when a 570-foot tanker carrying industrial ethanol exploded and
sank about 50 miles off the Virginia coast.
The Bow Mariner tanker, which was built
in 1982, called in a mayday to the Coast Guard after 6:00 p.m. to
report the explosion.
The Singapore-flagged vessel was in transit from New York to Houston
with 24 Filipino and three Greek crew members when a fire broke
out on the deck of the ship, causing the explosion.
''When the rescue divers got on the
scene the fuel tanker was on fire, sinking and there was people
in the water,'' said Lt. Chris Shaffer of Ocean City Emergency Services.
Three helicopters, three Coast Guard
boats and a C-130 plane are still searching for 19 other crew members.
Six of those injured were taken to hospitals in Maryland and Virginia.