Deprecated: Function session_register() is deprecated in /home/sites/ on line 88 Cross-Channel P&O ferry fire blamed on worn pressure valve
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Cross-Channel P&O ferry fire blamed on worn pressure valve

  • 11-1-2015

A fire in the engine room of a cross-Channel ferry travelling from Dover to France was caused by a worn pressure valve, a report found.

The blaze on board P&O's Pride of Canterbury vessel broke out as it docked in Calais on 29 September 2014.

It was quickly extinguished and none of the 337 passengers and crew were injured, and all disembarked as normal.

P&O Ferries said that since the fire a programme of modifications had been undertaken.

The report, from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, stated a pipework joint ruptured, spraying oil and starting the fire.

Its report concluded "the back pressure valve was found to be worn and had not been tested for functionality during its 23 years of service".

Safety 'absolute priority'

The storage of combustible materials near the two main engines allowed the fire to spread, and there was a lack of a high pressure alarm, it added.

Helen Deeble, chief executive of P&O Ferries, said the modifications had been carried out on the Pride of Canterbury and its three sister ships to ensure enhanced safety arrangements are in place.

Back pressure valves will also be replaced after 15 years.

P&O also complied with all technical guidelines that were in place at the time, she added.

"This incident occurred as passengers were disembarking the ship, the response of our crew was immediate in successfully extinguishing the fire, and nobody was injured," she said.

"The safety of our customers is our absolute priority and we review our procedures continuously to ensure that they are second to none."

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2015 BBC

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