The accident on board Varun Shipping's LPG carrier, which killed five sailors, may have occurred due to a possible human error, a senior company official said today, citing initial investigations.
After the discharge of liquefied petroleum gas, an elaborate exercise is carried out to clean out residues of the cargo for which there is a standard operating procedure, the official said.
"They first remove the residues with inert gases, after which airing is carried out. They (the crew) probably removed the spectacle blind flange partition without realising that the inert gases are yet to be flushed out."
He said these are not the final findings but evidence collected till now pointed towards this. "There is a standard operating procedure which is in place for carrying out such jobs...they seem to have gone wrong in the sequencing as the inert gases were still present."
Five sailors died and one was in critical condition after inhaling some poisonous gas inside the compressor room of the India-flagged `MV Maharshi Krishnatreya' off Gujarat coast yesterday morning. The vessel was on its way to Dubai for dry-docking after discharging cargo at Mangalore.
The ship came to Porbandar port today and the bodies of the five sailors were taken for post-portem, the official said.
As for compensation, the official said the kin of the deceased will receive financial assistance as per the protection and indemnity insurance, the official said.
Meanwhile, sector regulator Directorate General of Shipping, in a statement, said the casualty investigation team of the Mercantile Marine Department has boarded the vessel and commenced an inquiry into the gas mishap.