FIRE ONBOARD THE ITALIAN PASSENGER SHIP ANGELINA LAURO CHARLOTTE AMALIE HARBOR ST. THOMAS, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS MARCH 30, 1979. MARINE ACCIDENT REPORT

On the afternoon of March 30, 1979, a fire erupted in the crew galley onboard the Italian passenger ship ANGELINA LAURO while it was berthed starboard side to the West India Company dock, Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The fire quickly spread from the crew galley to a dining room. The fire was fought onboard by the ship's crew and shoreside firefighters. Heavy smoke impeded firefighting efforts aboard the ship and eventually forced the crew to leave the ship. Firefighting efforts continued to be directed against the exterior of the vessel, but the fire raged out of control throughout the interior spaces until the fire burned itself out 4 days later. The ANGELINA LAURO was almost destroyed. Two persons received minor injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the initial fire aboard the ANGELINA LAURO was overheated oil in an unattended skillet in the crew galley. This initial fire propagated and spread throughout the ship and resulted in the ship's destruction because of: (1) the failure of responsible vessel personnel to promptly establish effective control and coordination of the shipboard firefighting effort; (2) failure of the ship's fire detection and sprinkler system to provide early warning of and to extinguish the fire in a concealed overhead space; and (3) the extensive use of combustible materials in the ship's internal construction, which provided fuel for the fire and aided the generation and spread of smoke which hampered firefighting efforts. Contributing to the spread of the fire were: (1) an accumulation of combustible residues on the interior surfaces of the hood and duct; (2) the routing of the galley's grease vapor exhaust duct through a fire division bulkhead and the failure of the exhaust duct fire dampers and insulation to isolate the fire; and (3) the failure of those crewmembers who first observed smoke to promptly notify the bridge and sound the fire alarm.

  • Corporate Authors:

    National Transportation Safety Board

    Bureau of Accident Investigation, 800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20594
  • Publication Date: 1980-9-29

Media Info

  • Pagination: 46 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00324712
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB-MAR-80-16
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 18 1981 12:00AM