Site updated:

20th August 2019

Explosions on board M/V Hanjin Pennsylvania.

The MV Hanjin Pennsylvania was on a voyage from Singapore to Suez, when on 11th November 2002, an explosion occurred and fire broke out. One crew member died shortly afterwards, and one crew member is still unaccounted for. Even with the use of all firefighting equipment and techniques on board, an expansion of the fire could not be avoided and the crew left the vessel on 12th November.

By 13th November further firefighters and salvage teams were en route to the vessel, but there were further explosions in containers loaded on top of hold number 6. Despite continual firefighting efforts there were additional explosions on 18th November at which time it was discovered that the cargo included large quantities of fireworks and other hazardous materials.

On 25th November the vessel was under tow although still considered unsafe. By 16th December the vessel was being towed to Singapore, where she arrived on 9th January 2003. MV Hanjin Pennsylvania was declared a constructive total loss and insurance reparations were made - allegedly amounting to 60 million USD for the hull and 175 million USD for the cargo.

However that's not the end of the story. Although she was destined for the scrap yard, she was actually (and controversially in insurance terms) rebuilt in China, as a highly lucrative panamax carrier and renamed Phoenix Tower. Poetic miracles do happen.