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Calls for tighter cargo rating after toxic gas incident on bulker

A voyage transporting fertilizer ended in disaster for ship M/V Cheshire, though the crew made it to safety. Stakeholders now call for clearer classification for cargoes consisting of ammonium nitrate fertilizer that can decompose and emit toxic gases.

In August, the ship M/V Cheshire was sailing from Norway to Thailand loaded with ammonium nitrate-based fertilizer, when the cargo suddenly began to decompose and smoulder, emitting toxic gases. The captain chose to evacuate the crew when the gases began to spread throughout the vessel.

The ship then drifted aimlessly without crew, monitored by Spanish authorities poised to salvage it. The damages end up being so extensive that the entire vessel was declared a total loss.

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