CRANK CASE EXPLOSION – DAMAGE TO THE PERSONNEL :
While on a voyage, around 0020 hrs, duty oiler sounded fire alarm by breaking a glass. On reaching the fire control station, he informed that, crank case explosion had taken place on the main engine and that the 3rd engineer is down unconscious. The electrical officer went down immediately without any protection, and he brought up the unconscious 3rd engineer.3rd engineer’s jaw had a fracture and he fell unconscious.
The oiler said that the 3/E tried to extinguish the fire on the booster pump due to this explosion, with the help of DCP portable extinguisher. He removed safety clip, and when he tried to squeeze the plunger the entire brass cap came off, hitting him on the jaw badly. Due to the severe pain, he became unconscious.After taking the head count, ER was flooded with CO2 and the fire was put off.
It is imperative that the fire extinguishers are to be maintained and tested at frequent intervals to avoid such incidents during fire fighting. Electrical officer was also alerted about the importance of wearing breathing apparatus and fireman’s outfit in such a situation.