BOILER BACK FIRE :
The vessel is a bulk carrier, 30,000 tonns UMS ship.
The vessel left from Rotterdam to Ghent (Belgium). It is a river passage of 10 hrs sailing, pilot on board. During maneuvering. The vessels aux boiler gave problem of continuously tripping. 2nd Engineer instructed E/O to go and check. After 2, 3 times of trial he came back and told that he could not rectify the fault. 2/E instructed him to open and check the pilot burner. So pilot burner was opened up, found some carbon deposits on the electrode, same cleaned and tested at the test bed.
2/E and E/O boxed back the pilot burner. While started after over haul, (Auto mode), within the stipulated time there is no sign of burner on. So 2/E just wanted to check whether the pilot burner was lightening or not, he just wanted check with sight glass, the time he went to check there was back fire, he luckily covered his face with both two hands and got injured both hands forehands burned. Worst part of it was, he was signing off on arrival port, but he could leave only after 20 days because he was hospitalized. Luckily nothing major damage happened either to the person or the machinery.
There were a lot of hydro carbon gases inside the combustion space which was not purged out, the pre purge was not done properly.