Charges filed against chief mate of General Hazi Aslanov

Investigators have filed charges against the Chief Mate of chemical/oil products tanker General Hazi Aslanov (IMO 9333577) after an explosion in the Sea of Azov on October 24th.

The criminal case is being investigated under Part 3 of Article 219 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Violation of fire safety requirements, resulting in the death of two or more people). The charges were filed on November 17th.

As part of the investigation it had been established that on board the tanker, the crew members (boatswain, sailor and a trainee), under the leadership of the Chief Mate, were cleaning naphtha from the tanks.

It is alleged that, in violation of the requirements of safety regulations on ships of the marine fleet and the instructions of the manufacturers, the accused did not ensure constant control over the observance of the fire regime on the tanker, allowed work to be performed in the absence of a flow chart defining a safe procedure for washing tanks from oil refined products.

The investigation was also reported to have claimed that the accused did not personally control the concentration of gas contamination in the tanks of the vessel, but that instead he allowed a trainee who was not trained in safe methods to carry out the washing operations.

As a result the tanker, while it was moving from the neutral waters of the Black Sea, suffered the ignition of an explosive mixture of cargo. There were 13 crew members on board the tanker. While 10 of them were rescued, three people disappeared. Their remains were later found by investigators.

2005-built, Russia-flagged, 4,522 General Hazi Aslanov is owned and ISM managed by Palmali Co Ltd of Rostov On Don, Russia, and managed by Palmali Shipping & Agency of Istanbul, Turkey. It is entered with West of England Club (Eastern Claims Division) on behalf of Palmali Co Ltd.