Casualties – 3 dead and 1 injured in engine room explosion at Crotone, Italy – 31.08.2022

Around 1750 hrs of Wednesday 31st August, 2022 an engine room explosion aboard the 1983 built 24.5 metres workboat ASSO whilst berthed at Crotone Port, Italy with 3 crew members as fatalities ( 2 were thrown on the quay while the third body was found afloat in the sea – 2 Indians and an Egyptian, aged between 26 and 40 years) and a seriously Indian National injured that was admitted to Crotone Hospital.

According to what emerged from the first investigations by the firefighters (Vigili del Fuoco) , it was the cylinder of a welding machine that the victims were using to carry out the work to explode. Coordinating the rescue operations, the commander of the Crotone fire brigade, Giuseppe Bennardo was in the area with the outbreak was felt in a large area of ​​the city despite the workboat was berthed in a peripheral area of ​​the port.    

The Crotone Public Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation to reconstruct the dynamics of the incident and ascertain any responsibility. On the spot the deputy prosecutor Alessandro Rho, who directed the activity of the firefighters and heard the people who were on board the vessel .The investigations were delegated to the Mobile Squad of the Crotone Police Headquarters, which acquired the on-board documentation and all the testimonial and technical elements useful for the investigations. The Public Prosecutor’s Office is verifying, in particular, compliance with the safety conditions for the workers who were carrying out maintenance work. For this reason, the welding machine, the parts usable for the investigations of the exploded cylinder and all the technical material that may be useful for the investigations were seized. 

ASSO was homeported at Malakal Harbor in Palau so NOT a Maltese Flag like Italian Media reported and she’s a Workboat NOT a tugboat (rimorchiatore) like Italian Media reported too.

She’s the former fishing support vessel LOURDES 21 (MFD 87) ; workboat ALICE; yacht NEVERLAND and workboat TRIVA. She was built as the Greek stern trawler AGIA ELENI and since converted for various purposes. Back to June 2022 she was spotted at her berth at Bridge Wharf, Grand Harbour, Malta wearing fresh orange hull as per below image –

On Friday 29th July she was spotted on her hard at MMH Facilities as per below image –

On Wednesday 3rd August, 2022 she left Valletta for sea trials –

And on Thursday 4th August, she was spotted berthed at MMH loading 2 x 20ft TEU on her deck before starting her first voyage to Bar, Montenegro ( Arriving Saturday 13th August) as per below images –

She arrived at Crotone, Italy on Friday 26th August at 1755 hrs

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Published – Thursday 1st September, 2022