Toxic gases had M/V Cheshire's cargo exploding and made it rain fertilizer

How did dry bulker M/V Cheshire end up in a cloud of toxic gases and explosions that forced its crew to abandon ship? And in a multi-million-dollar bill for J. Lauritzen and Bibby? ShippingWatch recounts the events of the final dramatic days at sea.

Photo: Dokument fra sagen/Lagmannsretten

Not long passed from dry bulk vessel M/V Cheshire's departure from a Yara production facility on island Herøya south of Oslo, Norway, on Aug 6., 2017, with a course set for Thailand to the captain receiving the first signals that something was wrong.

The 190-meter ship with five large cargo holds had been filled with fertilizer between July 31 and Aug. 5. Specifically, NPK fertilizer or 15-15-15 fertilizer, which indicates the percentual content of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – substances that aren't exactly safe.

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