Blast kills one, injures four on tug in East Kalimantan, Indonesia


One person was killed while four others were injured after a pusher tug suffered an onboard explosion and then sank in the inland waters of the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan on Saturday, July 23.

The incident on the tug Blue Dragon 12 occurred as the crew were preparing the vessel to haul a coal-laden barge along the Sungai Sepaku River.

Of the 12 people who were on the tug, four suffered burn injuries from the blast while seven were able to escape unscathed. The injured personnel were subsequently brought to a hospital in Sepaku.

On Monday, July 25, rescue divers from the country’s Basarnas search and rescue agency found the body of an adult male trapped on board the sunken tug, which lies at a depth of six metres.

The deceased has since been identified as a 60-year-old mechanic who was initially reported missing following the blast.

Local officials believe the explosion was triggered by welding works as these were being carried out on the tug’s stern.

Click here for more news and gear stories, feature articles, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s focus on the tug and salvage sector.

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