A carbon dioxide leak on board a Chinese cargo ship, the Jin Hai Xiang, has killed 10 workers and left 19 injured. The incident occurred while the ship was undergoing maintenance work at Longyan Port in Weihai, Shandong Province, Eastern China.
According to the South China Morning Post, 10 repair workers were found dead at the scene while the 19 injured workers were taken to hospital where they all continue to be in a stable condition. The cargo vessel was being repaired at the time of the incident and an initial investigation found that the leak came from the ship’s fire prevention system.
The Weihei local government said in a statement that the gas leak was the result of “improper procedures” by the ship’s crew. The statement added that an investigation is currently ongoing, however “relevant personnel” have been taken into custody. Local reports said the ship’s Third Officer has been arrested by police.
Fire extinguishing systems on board ships often use high concentrations of pressurised carbon dioxide to lower the levels of oxygen in a room and starve a fire of fuel. An emergency team has been set up by the local government in Weihei to continue the investigation into the incident.