Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 11
DNV T ECHNICAL P APER FIRES ON R O - RO D ECKS P APER

DNV TECHNICAL PAPER

DNV T ECHNICAL P APER FIRES ON R O - RO D ECKS P APER S

FIRES ON RO-RO DECKS

PAPER SERIES NO. 2005-P018

SEPTEMBER 2005- REV.0

DET NORSKE VERITAS

PAPER SERIES NO. 2005-P018

SECTION FOR FIRE SAFETY, SEPTEMBER 2005

1. Introduction

The purpose of this paper is in general to address the fire risks on ro-ro ships and specifically to identify methods to reduce the risk, for instance by introducing new fire extinguishing systems. Both cargo ships (car carriers and general ro-ro’s) and passenger ferries are studied.

The paper is prepared by Anders Tosseviken, DNV Oslo.

1.1 Fire safety standard as prescribed by SOLAS

Enclosed ro-ro decks and special category spaces on ro-ro ships are in many ways fire protected to a standard equivalent to engine rooms. The boundaries are enclosed by A-class divisions, fire hoses and portable equipment is provided in adequate numbers and a fixed fire extinguishing system, typically CO2 on cargo ships and deluge (water spray) on ferries shall be provided for enclosed spaces. Such spaces shall also be provided with a smoke detection system. Fire patrol is required for special category space and good ISM practice for ro-ro spaces on cargo ships.

Compliance with Dangerous Goods Regulations will add some to the above, basically some more fire hoses. Open cargo decks have in general no fixed fire extinguishing system (even when carrying dangerous goods).

1.2 Fire hazard

The fire hazard can be said to be lower than that expected for an engine room. The combustibles may be notable, like gasoline and goods of various kinds; however there are no obvious fire sources; parked cars and trucks have according to damage statistics very infrequently caused fires that has resulted in any significant damages. Appropriate enclosure or ex standard (as applicable) for the ships electrical system together with the dedicated ventilation system which shall be operated to ventilate flammable gases should also prevent any leakages from being ignited.

2. Fire incidents on ro-ro decks

2.1 Scope

Several fire incidents have been assessed. Due to differences with respect to fire extinguishing system being provided as well as cargo operation, we have chosen to categorise the fires into SOLAS cargo ships (basically pure car carriers and general ro-ro), SOLAS passenger ferries and non-SOLAS ships.

It should be noted that fires originating in accommodation and engine room or fires reported when the ship is at a repair yard have not been addressed as it is not scope of work for this study. These fires represent some 85% of all fires on such ships, with engine room dominating. A limited number of these fires have spread into the ro-ro deck, but we have not considered these fires to be relevant in this context.

The data sources include DNV casualty data, LMIS casualty data, and interviews with ship owners and ship management companies 1/2/3/ .

PAPER SERIES NO. 2005-P018

SECTION FOR FIRE SAFETY, SEPTEMBER 2005

2.2 Fires on ro-ro decks – SOLAS cargo ships

18 fire incidents have been identified on a world wide basis in the period of 1990 to 2003,

none of them with fatalities. The 6 fires representing serious damages to cargo and / or ship are listed in appendix I.

18 fires over the period of 14 years and 22.000 ship years give approximately one fire per

1.200 ship years. This is thus a low frequency fire hazard compared to the engine room fires (one major fire per 250 ship years). It should though be noted that the casualty data with respect to ro-ro deck fires from the first part of the period 1990 - 1997 is far from complete.

The 6 major fires consist of 2 total losses and 4 with major damage to cargo and ship. Both incidents with the total losses occurred when the ships were in port. Also many of the ships with minor fires were in port causing the total number of such incident to be close to 50% of all fires.

The cause of fire has been identified for approximately 2/3 of the fires. The origin has been cars (new or second hand), trucks and pulling units. Most of these fires have occurred when starting or driving the vehicle. None of the fires with cause identified has originated in any of the ship systems.

The two total losses were on fire for days, the fixed CO2 system was applied for at least one of these ships. There are at least four other incidents where the CO2 system were applied, one of these being unsuccessful (CO2 was released, but did not extinguish the fire) and one with a one hour delay (fire extinguished). It is partly confirmed that these are low pressure CO2 systems. 5 of the 18 fires were extinguished by portable extinguishers and did thus not develop into major fires. 8 fires (including 2 majors) have no certain information regarding how the fires were extinguished.

The increased fire risk when in port is topped up by the fact that the smoke detection system often is disconnected (in order to avoid false alarms). This is not in conflict with SOLAS as the ro-ro deck is manned under the on- and off-loading operations. It should also be noted that the fire extinguishing system (usually low pressure CO2) is ineffective when the ship is in port, as external and internal ramps are open and can in many cases not be closed quickly in case of a fire. It is presumed that the above factors can explain the significant damages to ships having a fire when in port.

2.3 Fires on ro-ro decks – SOLAS Ferries

7 fire incidents have been identified, two of them with fatalities (including one with multiple loss of lives). Details of the fires are listed in appendix II.

7 fires over the period of 14 years and 12.000 ship years give the low fire frequency of approximately one fire per 1.700 ship years.

The fatalities were one passenger and 14 illegal immigrants being on the car deck when the fire broke out (at sea). Passengers are in general no longer accepted to stay on enclosed special category spaces when the vessel is at sea. Similar accidents can be avoided by security control and patrol.

PAPER SERIES NO. 2005-P018

SECTION FOR FIRE SAFETY, SEPTEMBER 2005

Some of the fires resulted in damage to the cargo, structural damages to the ship and list problems (probably due to fire water). The structural damages to the ferries were in general less significant that those reported for the cargo ships.

The cause of fire has been identified for 4 out the 7 fires. The origin of the fire was in these cases trucks (engine or cargo). None of the fires with cause identified has originated in any of the ship systems.

Based on the available information, we estimate that the deluge was used to extinguish or control the fire in 5 out of 7 fires. There are no indication to the effect that the deluge system did not operate, except for one incident where they had temporarily loss of power. However, in three incident there were problems related to list (deluge stop / reduced in at least one incident).

2.4 Other ro-ro deck fires & tunnel fires

The identified incidents on SOLAS ships represent only 25 fires on ro-ro deck. It could be worthwhile to do a qualitative comparison with other objects. For this purpose non-SOLAS ships and road tunnels are studied. Only accidents with fatalities are included in this brief assessment.

There are three notable fires on non-SOLAS ships, all of them with many fatalities. The details can be found in appendix III. Not much data are available from the accidents and in particular Tampomas II could be relevant in this context. The drencher system was apparently installed but not used. Power failure could be one explanation. The heavy seas prevented a successful evacuation but there are also other facts that indicate that this vessel was not to SOLAS standard. The two other ships (Chrissi Avgi and Sweet Name) are due to the accident mode, ship size and year of built not considered to be relevant for our assessment of modern SOLAS ships.

With the one exception (Tampomas II, 1983), we can conclude that the ro-ro deck operations have represented a minor hazard for passengers and that major damages to the ship and cargo are infrequent.

2.5 Road Tunnel Fires

Although many sources have been visited, there are only about 25 ro-ro fires recorded on SOLAS ships in 1990 – 2004 with some additional 5-10 fires when considering fires outside this timeframe and ship type. A similar hazard, road tunnels, has thus been assessed.

17 road tunnel fires with fatalities are studied. These occurred in the period of 1978 to 2005

with fatalities from 1 to 9 (14 accidents), 11-39 (3 accidents) and more that 400 (1 wartime accident). 14 of the 17 road tunnel accident related to (high speed) collision, a situation that is not relevant for operations on a ship’s ro-ro deck. Also the 3 remaining accidents have only a remote link to marine operations.

PAPER SERIES NO. 2005-P018

SECTION FOR FIRE SAFETY, SEPTEMBER 2005

3 Lessons learned / Conclusions

3.1 Fire extinguishing systems

When developing new standards for fire extinguishing systems for ro-ro decks, the following properties, in priorities order, should be regard as important:

I. Reliability

Based on the Tampomas II disaster and the failures on the low pressure CO2 systems on the SOLAS cargo ships we would suggest that reliability (“that is works when called upon”) is the single most important feature we should require from a fire extinguishing system.

The problems related to operation of low pressure CO2 system has been reported on other type of vessels (see reference no. 3). It would be incorrect to suggest that the alarming findings identified for low pressure CO2 system applies also to high pressure CO2 systems.

Two of the ferries did experience problems with power supply to the pump serving the deluge systems. The regulation addressing power supply may need to be revised somewhat to address this (routing of cables, position of power sources, etc.).

II. Quick response

There are at least 5 incident on cargo ships where CO2 was released. The system was released after:

i. 25 minutes

ii. 1:05 hour

iii. 2:25 hours

iv. Not stated (two incidents)

We have reasons to believe that the release time is “hours” not “minutes” for the two incidents where no specific data is available. 4 out of these 5 incidents caused major damages to the ship and the cargo.

There have been recorded at least 5 incident on ferries where the deluge systems were released. The time to release was recorded as follows:

a. Within 10 minutes

b. 10 minutes

c. Not stated (three incidents)

Based on the post fire damage, we can conclude that the release time have been short for at least one of the incident where this time is not stated. Only 1 out of these 5 incidents caused major damages to the ship and the cargo.

Based on the above, we can conclude that the deluge systems are in general released quicker than the CO2 systems and the damage to the ship and its cargo are correspondingly reduced.

Having a quick acting fire extinguishing system is thus an advantage in case of a fire on ro-ro

deck.

III.

Performance of the fire extinguishing system (“fire fighting power”)

The failures recorded for the low pressure CO2 systems were probably related to the fact the space on fire were not adequate sealed. It should be noted that another CO2 system extinguished one fire even when release 2.5 hours after the fire stared. This indicates that the

PAPER SERIES NO. 2005-P018

SECTION FOR FIRE SAFETY, SEPTEMBER 2005

prescribed concentration (45% CO2) is sufficient provided that the protected space can be kept sufficiently gas tight.

The deluge system controlled or extinguished all the fires where it was applied. We have though been advised about one failure for a fire back in 1980 /4/ .

IV.

Other

Use of the fire hoses and deluge system caused a list for three of the ships. A system using the water more efficiently, either as less water per square meter or by concentrating more “fire fighting power” in a smaller area could be attractive for ro-ro ships.

3.2

Conclusions

The main conclusions are:

Fires on ro-ro decks on SOLAS cargo ships and ferries are an infrequent hazard that historically have not represented a major risk for passenger and crew

A few incidents with major property damage (ship and cargo) have been identified. These are linked to failure of the main fire extinguishing system (low pressure CO2). The failure modes are either that the system is not release due to open ramps or failure of critical release components.

The origin of the fires has been the cars or trucks, including cargo, in basically all cases where the cause has been identified. Electric short circuit, auto ignition and fire due to shift in cargo (heavy weather) are among the causes. Flammable fluids (leakage of petrol, etc.) have in general not been causing the fires (except two “historic” incidents).

Required properties for alternative fire extinguishing systems (water mist, inside air foam, high expansion foam) have been identified and given priority. These systems could be good alternatives to the systems used today (CO2 and deluge)

PAPER SERIES NO. 2005-P018

SECTION FOR FIRE SAFETY, SEPTEMBER 2005

Appendix I – Major Cargo Ship Fires 1990 - 2003

Ship name

Incident year

Cause

Fire extinguished

Damage

(built year)

& place

Eurasian

1998

While jumpstarting and refuelling car

(Burnt out) (48h?) (CO2 released after

Total loss of cargo and ship

Dream

In port

(1984)

 

1:05h)

-

*)

2001

Started in second hand car

CO2 (released after 2:25 h, first attempt after 1:35)

100s of cars damaged. Also some structural damage to the ship

(1978)

At sea

Sloman

2001

-

Extinguished after 3 days (open deck?)

330 ton steel renewal? Note: container / ro-ro ship

Traveller

At sea

(1984)

   

Silver Ray

2002

-

(Burnt out after 9 days)

Total loss of cargo and ship

(1978)

In port

-

*)

2002

Started in new car

CO2 released

20 cars damaged, heat damage to deck

(2000)

At sea

-

*)

2003

-

CO2 released after 25 minutes – failed

1425 cars smoke damaged 4 deck heat damaged

(1986)

At sea

Notes *) Non-public sources, ship name is known to author but not published in this paper The entry “-” denotes that reliable data is not available

PAPER SERIES NO. 2005-P018

SECTION FOR FIRE SAFETY, SEPTEMBER 2005

Appendix II – Ferry Fires 1990 - 2004

Ship name

Incident

Cause

Fire extinguished

Damage

(built year)

year &

place

Pegasus

1991

-

Deluge and fire hoses?

List and partly submerged

(1975)

In port?

Falster Link

1994

Engine in

By deluge (released after 10 minutes, confirmed out / under control within 90 minutes)

1 truck driver died - slept in truck cabin (passengers are to leave car deck during voyage)

(1969)

At sea

recently parked

truck

Superfast III

1999

-

-

14 illegal immigrants died (hid inside car deck trucks). Damage to steel, cables, etc. on ship.

(1998)

At sea

- *)

1999

Coal Briquettes

-

Minor

(1991)

At sea

(auto ignition?)

Joseph and

2005

Trailer caught

Confirmed extinguished (probably by deluge / fire hoses)

Deck heated up – passengers and crew evacuated

Clara

At sea

fire

Smallwood

   

(1989)

Knossos

2003

Trailer caught

Quickly extinguished by the deluge system

Minor. Some problems in evacuating passengers upon arrival in port

Palace (2000)

At sea

fire

Vincenzo

2004

Cargo shifted and caught fire?

Controlled after a few hours?

Some horses on car deck died. Heavy seas. Power black out.

Florio (1999)

At sea

Notes *) Non-public sources, ship name is known to author but not published in this paper The entry “-” denotes that reliable data is not available

PAPER SERIES NO. 2005-P018

SECTION FOR FIRE SAFETY, SEPTEMBER 2005

Appendix III – Fatal Fires on non-SOLAS ships

Ship name

Incident

Cause

Fire extinguished

Fatalities

(built year)

year &

Standard, size

place

Tampomas II

1981

Overturned

Burnt out over 2 days

431 or 666 dead *)

(1970)

At sea

motorcycles

Domestic, 6140 grt

(storm)

Chrissi Avgi

1983

Ship listed, cargo caught fire

(Ship capsized after two hours)

28

dead

(1970)

At sea

 

Domestic, < 500 grt.

   

Sweet Name

1983

Collision,

(Ship sank later on)

27

dead

(1944)

At sea

gasoline drums

 

Domestic, 580 grt.

caught fire

Notes *) Two sources publish have different number of fatalities

PAPER SERIES NO. 2005-P018

SECTION FOR FIRE SAFETY, SEPTEMBER 2005

Appendix IV – Road Tunnel Fires

Year

Place

Initial objects

Fatalities

Cause

1978

Velsen, Holland

4

lorries, 2 cars

5

dead, 5 injured

Collision, front / rear

1979

Nihonzaka, Japan

4

lorries, 2 cars

7

dead, 1 injured

Collision, front / rear

1980

Kijiwara, Japan

1

lorries

1

dead

Collision, lorry / wall

1982

Caldecott, USA

1

car, 1 lorry, 1 coach

7

dead, 2 injured

Collision, front / rear

1982

Salang, Afganistan

Petrol truck

400 dead (minimum)

Collision, -

1983

Pecorila Galleria, Italy

1

lorry

9

dead, 22 injured

Collision, front / rear

1986

L'Arme, France

Lorry

3

dead, 5 injured

“Breaking”, -

1987

Gumefens, Switzerland

1 lorry

2

dead

Collision, front / rear

1993

Serra Ripoli, Italy

1 car + lorry

4

dead, 4 injured

Collision

1994

Huguenot, South-Africa

Bus

1

dead, 28 injured

Electrical fault

1995

Pfander, Austria

Lorry / trailer

3

dead, 4 injured

Collision

1996

Palermo, Italy

Tank lorry + bus

5

dead, 20 injured

Collision, front / rear

1999

Mont Blanc, France-Italy

lorry

 

39

dead

Oil leakage (engine)

1999

Tauern, Austria

Lorry

 

12

dead, 49 injured

Collision, front / rear

2001

Gleinalm, Austria

Lorry + car

5

dead, 4 injured

Collision, front / front

2001

St. Gotthard, Switzerland

2

lorries

 

11

dead

Collision, front / front

2005

Fréjus, France-Italy

T 2

2

dead, 21 injured

Diesel leakage

Notes Miscellaneous sources have been used.

PAPER SERIES NO. 2005-P018

SECTION FOR FIRE SAFETY, SEPTEMBER 2005

Appendix V: Reference List

/1/

Investigation Report – Falster Link, DMA, issued February 1995

/2/

Input from the ship management companies and ship owners

/3/

USCG: Report of the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the engine room fire on board the M/V SSG EDWARD A. CARTER, JR., issued April 2002

/4/

Fire on Cargo Deck in Swedish Ro-Ro Vessel Finneagle off the Orkneys, October 1980, Marine Accident Report, February 1982, Swedish Maritime Investigation Commission