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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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World Shipping Council : containers lost at sea

There have been no comprehensive statistics kept Proper cargo loading and stowage of containers is very important to the safety of acontainer ship, its cargo and its crew, to shore-based workers and equipment, and to theenvironment. Even with proper loading of the cargo into the container and secure stowageaboard ship, a number of factors ranging from severe weather and rough seas to morecatastrophic and rare events like ship grounding or collision can result in containers being lostoverboard while at sea.A question which has deserved an informed answer is: How many containers actuallyare lost at sea? The World Shipping Council (WSC) has seen various statements in public thatthe industry loses 10,000 containers a year at sea. The WSC understood that this number isgrossly excessive and concurs with the statement of the National Cargo Bureau: "there havebeen no comprehensive statistics kept, as to the number of containers lost overboard."In an effort to shed greater clarity on the issue, the WSC undertook a survey of itsmembers to obtain a more accurate estimate of the number of containers lost overboard on anannual basis. The WSC's members represent over 90 percent of the global containershipcapacity. Members were asked to provide the actual number of containers ...

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