On 21 March 2006, on its way from Asia to Europe, the Panamanian container ship Hyundai Fortune suffered a huge explosion at about 100 km south of Yemen. 60 to 90 containers were lost at sea. The explosion caused a massive blaze that spread through the stern of the ship. Secondary explosions followed as 7 containers full of fireworks also ignited.
A 12 m crack was visible on the hull and the crew evacuated the ship. Even though fire fighting operations were carried out, the fire continued to burn onboard the Hyundai Fortune for the following days. The managing company, Hyundai Merchant Marine, chartered a tug boat in order to tow the container ship to Salalah (Oman) where the salvageable part of the cargo (2,249 containers) was offloaded for transhipment to Europe.
The causes of this accident remain unknown. It could either be due to a high outside temperature or a fire that provoked a violent reaction with some of the cargo substances (calcium hypochlorite or fireworks).
Name: Hyundai Fortune
Date: 21 March 2006
Location: Gulf of Aden
Accident area: ≈ 100 km south of Yemen
Cause of spill: explosion
Type of pollutant: 60 to 90 containers
Ship type: container ship
Date built: 1996
Shipyard: Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ulsan, South Korea
Length: 83.6 m
Draugth: 7.4 m
Owner: EMF International S.A., Panama
Managing company: Hyundai Merchant Marine, Seoul, South Korea
Classification society: Korean Register of Shipping
Last update: 15/06/2011