29th Dec. 03

On one of my vessels, early one morning after breakfast around 9 am the second engineer along with the engine fitter went into the tunnel to overhaul a leaky storm valve. The vessel was in port.

He had isolated the line and slackened the valve from place. The poisonous gas that was trapped in the line escaped into the confined tunnel space. The fitter and 2/E collapsed instantly.

Around 9:30 am the 4/E went into the tunnel to look for 2/E . He too collapsed due to the poisonous gas. The 3/E who realized that there was something wrong immediately called the C/E.

Upon entry into the tunnel with BA sets, it was discovered that the fitter, 2/E, 4/E all had died due to suffocation by the poisonous gas.

This accident tells us that one should take all the precautions of gas detection and enclosed space entry while working with storm valves in confined spaces.