Death of Emerald Princess crew member caused by corroding gas cylinder - report

The death of a cruise ship member caused after a nitrogen cylinder burst has prompted a global warning for the Maritime sector. 

The final report released by the Transport and Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) confirms the gas cylinder bust due to severe corrosion causing the death of a Filipino man in 2017 while onboard the Emerald Princess.

The crew were re-pressurising cylinders while berthed at Dunedin's Port Chalmers when the Filipino man was fatally injured. 

TAIC says the cylinder burst below its normal working pressure and external corrosion had reduced the cylinder's wall thickness to about 30 percent.

Death of Emerald Princess crew member caused by corroding gas cylinder - report

"The failed cylinder and several others in the system were not fit for purpose, despite having been surveyed recently, and should not have been in service," TAIC Chief Investigator of Accidents, Captain Tim Burfoot says.

Death of Emerald Princess crew member caused by corroding gas cylinder - report

The cylinder was part of a stored energy system providing an alternative means of launching lifeboats in the event of power failure -  systems that are common on cruise ships.

TAIC's investigation also found there is an urgent need for global standards for maintaining, inspecting, testing, and replacing the high-pressure cylinders on board ships.

Death of Emerald Princess crew member caused by corroding gas cylinder - report

"The wider issue is the lack of global minimum standards for inspection, testing and rejecting pressure cylinders for stored energy systems on lifeboat launching installations. So there is wide variation in, and sometimes inadequate, standards applied by flag state administrations, classification societies and authorised service providers," Capt. Burfoot says. 

A 2017 interim report into the incident prompt warnings about corroding cylinders within the cruise ship industry. The report saying the cylinders could pose a "significant danger to seafarers and passengers".

The operator of the Emerald Princess took immediate safety actions to prevent a repeat incident, the report found. 

Newshub. 

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