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Alarm sounded over exploding reefers

Three cases in which refrigeration units had exploded for no apparent reason. Hundreds of refrigerated containers have been quarantined in various locations around the world following reports of compressor explosions and incidents of spontaneous combustion that have resulted in at least three fatalities.The alarm was raised by Maersk Line on 18 October when it informed the World Shipping Council's Safe Transport of Containers Working Group that it had recently experienced three cases in which refrigeration units had exploded for no apparent reason.While the precise causes of the explosions are still under investigation, Maersk said it had ascertained that all three refrigeration units involved had received gas repairs in Vietnam between late March and late April and advised other lines that had had similar gas repairs or maintenance to refrigeration units in Vietnam to identify and investigate those units.Observers say all the major reefer machinery brands - Carrier, Daikin, Thermo King and Star Cool - are potentially affected by what is suspected to be the introduction of contaminated or otherwise unsuitable refrigerant gas into the system that causes a chemical reaction when it comes into contact with R134a, oil or air, creating a flammable/explosive mixture.At least two Carrier ThinLINE and one ...

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