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Accident Report Detail

Marine Accident Brief: Engine Room Fire aboard Towing Vessel George King

Executive Summary

​About 2041 local time on January 24, 2018, the towing vessel George King was pushing 30 empty barges upbound on the Lower Mississippi River at mile 393.6 when a fire began in the engine room and quickly spread. The crew abandoned the vessel after unsuccessfully trying to extinguish the fire. No pollution or injuries were reported. The estimated property damage exceeded $500,000.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the engine room fire aboard the towing vessel George King was the ignition of oil spraying from the pressurized lube oil strainer on the port main diesel engine. Contributing to the severity of the fire was the fixed-open engine room ventilation system and the inability of the crew to close all engine room windows and doors, which allowed the fire to spread and would have limited the effectiveness of the halon fixed firefighting system had it been activated.

Accident Location: St. Joseph , LA USA Lower Mississippi River, at mile 393.6, 31° 53.95’ N, 091° 12.17’ W
Accident Date: 1/24/2018
Accident ID: DCA18FM012

Date Adopted: 11/7/2018
NTSB Number: MAB1825
NTIS Number:  

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