MUKAH: An explosion onboard an oil tanker in Tanjung Manis this morning left two people severely injured, with the vessel’s captain also sustaining injuries.
The tanker was docked and was undergoing maintenance work when the explosion occurred.
The authorities said there were 15 crew members and five workers from a maintenance company onboard the vessel when the incident took place.
The explosion tore apart the tanker’s upper deck.
Sarawak Zone 4 Fire and Rescue Department chief, Misran Bisara, said the department was alerted to the incident at 10.42am.
“Thirteen firemen from the Tanjung Manis and Sungei Merah stations were deployed to the scene, with two engines and an ambulance,” he said.
Misran said checks showed that the tanker was used to ferry petrol. However, it had been emptied of its cargo when the maintenance works were underway for safety reasons.
“We are not discounting the possibility that the explosion was triggered by sparks from the maintenance work reacting to remnants of gas or vapour from the cargo hold,” he said.
He said the victims were sent to the Sibu Hospital.
“We have run through safety inspections and ventilated the vessel to ensure that all hazardous fumes are dispersed,” he said.