The tragedy of the oil tanker Aulac Fortune

January 08, 2019

On the morning of January 8, the oil tanker Aulac Fortune caught fire one mile south of Lamma Island, leaving one crew member dead. Here is what we know about the incident so far

The Aulac is an oil tanker registered in Vietnam. The vessel unloaded its cargo of unleaded petrol in Guangdong on Sunday before arriving in Hong Kong waters on Tuesday morning. It caught fire near Lamma Island, southwest of Hong Kong

A series of explosions occurred around 11am while the vessel was waiting for a new cargo, causing the death of one crew member. Two others remain missing. Dozens more sailors were admitted to Wan Chai Ruttonjee Hospital

Sadly, incidents involving sea vessels are all too common in Hong Kong’s busy waters. More than 500 people were injured and 51 lost their lives between 2016 and 2017

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According to the latest Maritime Department reports at least 19 sailors were injured in explosions between 2016 and 2017

Hong Kong is situated in a busy port area. According to the Hong Kong ports authorities a total of 372,610 vessels docked here in 2017. Guangdong, where the Aulac Fortune anchored to unload its cargo before the incident, is one of many large and important ports in the nearby Pearl River Delta

At the moment there has been no confirmation of spills from the Aulac’s cargo since the vessel anchored off the south of coast of Lamma. Currents could quickly carry any spillages, as well as the vessel itself

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