Six crew members died in an unidentified accident on a tanker off Lagos in Nigeria during the weekend (4-5 January).

According to an unconfirmed report, the seafarers seem to be cleaning cargo tanks and, therefore, most likely perished from inhaling hazardous gases in empty tanks. It is unclear if the vessel was carrying petroleum products in its tanks.

The deaths of the unknown crew members were acknowledged by Nigerian officials over the weekend.

Furthermore, Maritime Bulletin said the 26,200-dwt ΜΤ Halima, built in 2002, was conducting tank cleaning operations, increasing the probability of asphyxiation as the cause of seafarers’ death.

The Nigerian-flagged tanker left Monrovia, Liberia, on 27 January and was still anchored off Lagos on Monday (6 February) morning.

The Nigerian Navy warship Beecroft released a statement saying that it received a distress call from Halima via the  Western Region Control Centre (WRCC) of Falcon Eye, the navy’s maritime domain awareness facility.

According to the warship, a rescue crew plan was deployed from NNS BEECROFT’s task force in Atlas Cove, which set out from Takwa jetty after analyzing the ship’s coordinates and discovering that it was at position 3.04 miles southwest of the Lagos Fairway Buoy.

“Accordingly, NNS BEECROFT task force stationed at Atlas Cove immediately cast off from Tarkwa Jetty to the vessel anchored at Latitude 06°20’58″N, Longitude 003°21’56″E, a position 3.04 nautical miles southwest of Lagos fairway buoy,“ stated an NNS BEECROFT official.

The official further stated that the victims were taken to Mekwe Jetty on Victoria Island and then were transferred to the Military Hospital in Ikoyi.

Source : Container News