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M/V Hanjin Pennsylvania

My reports "M/V Hanjin Pennsylvania : Explosions at Sea" are available from the National Fireworks Association (NFA). They were also published in the Proceedings of the International Fireworks Symposium.


November 15, 2002. The second and largest explosion aboard the new 930 foot container vessel M/V Hanjin Pennsylvania. I spent 40 days in Asia investigating this two fatality, $235 million loss.


The M/V Hanjin Pennsylvania was only on its 5th voyage from China to Europe. It could hold over 4,000 20 foot containers in its 8 Holds.



The first explosion killed two sailors on November 11, 2002 off the coast of Sri Lanka. Here containers above decks of Hold 4 are burning. All of the declared containers of fireworks are stowed above deck of Holds 1, 2 and 3. Note the thick black smoke indicative of a carbon based fire.


The results of the second explosion inside Hold 6. This explosion occurred 4 days after the first, but there were no declared fireworks or other explosives stored below decks or aft of Hold 3; however there were containers of combustible materials as well as magnesium ingots in Hold 6.


One of my pictures of the salvage operations in Singapore. Burned and twisted containers have been piled on top of the 30 ton deck plates lifted up from the blast in Hold 6.

 May 2000, Weeth & Associates, LLC , La Crosse, WI USA. All rights reserved worldwide.

Revised September 17, 2005