The Belgian gas carrier René 16 entered the port of Landskrona (Sweden) to unload its cargo of 550 tonnes of anhydrous ammonia, intended for a fertiliser plant on the port complex.
During the unloading operation, a pipe burst due to the incompatibility of its construction material with ammonia. In total, 180 tonnes leaked out in 50 minutes. A vast cloud enveloped the vessel, before moving in the direction of the wind towards a shipyard where 2 people were at work.
The fire service used pressurised water to spray
the cloud so that a valve could be closed to stop the leak. The
fire fighters, wearing protective clothing and equipment, boarded
the vessel to close the valve of the discharge pipeline. After the
cloud of ammonia had dispersed,
2 members of the crew were found dead on the quayside. The investigation showed that they had been sprayed with ammonia.
Name: René 16
Date: 16 January 1976
Accident area: Port of Landskrona, Sweden
Cause of spill: burst hose during unloading
Product transported: anhydrous ammonia
Quantity transported: 550 tonnes
Type of pollutant: anhydrous ammonia
Quantity spilled: 180 tonnes
Ship type: gas carrier
Last update: 29/06/2011