DSC.1/Circ.36

6 October 2005

ACCIDENTS INVOLVING TRANSPORT OF DIRECT REDUCED IRON FINES

1
The Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers, at its tenth session (26 to 30 September 2005), considered a preliminary report of an explosion during the transport of Direct Reduced Iron Fines, where six crew members were killed and the ship was a total loss. In considering the report, the Sub-Committee was advised of another accident involving a similar cargo, which may self-heat and/or evolve hydrogen in contact with water.
2

The Sub-Committee commenced developments of a schedule for this cargo to be inserted in the BC Code without reaching a decision on the suitability of this cargo to be carried in bulk. Although most of the schedule was agreed, it was not possible to reach an agreement on the following points:

  1. possible limitations regarding the cargo condition at the time of shipment;

  2. ventilation or inerting of the cargo hold during the transport; and

  3. possible effects on the cargo of any changes during the voyage.

3
Member Governments are invited to bring the above information to the attention of shippers, terminal operators, shipowners, ship operators, companies, charterers, shipmasters and all other parties concerned requesting that extreme care and appropriate action be taken, taking into account the provisions of relevant IMO instruments when handling and transporting this type of cargo in bulk.
4
The Sub-Committee urges Member Governments and the industry to submit to the Organization relevant information regarding safe handling and transportation of this cargo at their earliest convenience.