Report: Fuel Smuggling Caused Shipbreaking Blast
An official inquiry into the explosion on the scrapped FPSO Aces confirmed that the massive blast was caused by hundreds of thousands of gallons of petroleum products on board.
The inquiry (as reported by local media) said that about 375,000 gallons of fuel and 425,000 gallons of lubricants were on board the vessel.
Aces had been beached at the shipbreaking yards in Gadani, Pakistan. It is believed that sparks from cutting (or the explosion of a cutting gas tank) ignited the petroleum on board; the blast that followed tore apart her decks, killing at least two dozen and injuring 58 more. The known death toll has risen to 28 since the blast, as many of the injured died of their wounds in the days and weeks after. The exact numbers of the dead may never be known, as the yard did not keep written records of its workers. Pakistani unions estimate that there are at least ten workers still missing, based on inquiries from the men’s families.