Cause of French Tanker Blast/Fire Still Unknown

October 9, 2002

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the explosion and fire which ravaged the French supertanker Limburg, killing one crewman, in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday.

The ship’s captain, Hubert Ardillon, told French TV and radio interviewers that, although he was not in a position to see any craft approaching the starboard side of the ship, one of his officers had seen a small boat approaching rapidly just before the explosion occurred. He indicated that there was more than one explosion, but couldn’t be sure of the causes after the first one.

Yemeni officials have maintained that the explosion and resulting fire, which was finally contained Monday night, was the result of an internal cause, most likely a fire. Three teams of officials have begun investigating the circumstances. Yemeni and French experts have been joined by a team of U.S. counter terrorism advisors.

Whatever conclusion the team eventually reaches, the incident has already increased tension in the region, and caused premiums on carriers plying the Gulf to rise.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.