Fire in hold temporarily closes Port Kembla

A fire in the hold of bulker ship Iron Chieftain (IMO 9047740) on Monday June 18th closed Australia’s Port Kembla, the second-largest coal export port in New South Wales state, halting shipping for eight hours.

The blaze began before dawn on the MV Iron Chieftain as it unloaded dolomite and the port was shut soon after. No injuries were reported.

“Shipping recommenced and the port reopened at 11:30 and is expected to be back on schedule by around 1700,” harbour master Kell Dillon said.

More than 100 firefighters were called to extinguish the fire, which started in the ship’s hold and had gone part way down the ship’s conveyor belt, which transports the dolomite from the ship’s hold to the shore.

Two ladder platforms were being used to battle the blaze from a height of 37 metres.

1993-built, Australia-flagged, 34,422 gt Iron Chieftain is owned and managed by CSL Australia PTY Ltd of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is entered with Standard Club (UK & Americas Division) on behalf of CSL Australia Pty Ltd.