603 - 10/08 - Hot coal - Maputo, Mozambique
During the course of the investigation it was observed that at least one shore dump site was burning with open flames clearly visible. It is believed that prior to this incident several other shore dump sites were observed to be smouldering.
There have not been any other incidents involving hot coal at the terminal in five years. It is thought that the rise in temperature of the coal and spontaneous combustion is due to unseasonably high winds coupled with several months storage time of some of the cargo stored at the terminal.
Fortunately the smouldering cargo was detected by the ship's crew before loading was completed, and all of the cargo from the hold was subsequently discharged ashore. During discharge, the cargo was found to be far in excess of the IMO's temperature criteria of 55 degrees Centigrade.
Members with vessels fixed to load bulk coal at Maputo are advised to ensure the crew are particularly vigilant during loading. Loading should be in compliance with the recommendations of the BC Code.