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EXPLOSION !

EXPLOSION !

Onlookers gather to view the damage to the Union Steam Ship Co, collier KOKIRI. The vessel had arrived at Wellington on 13 March 1965 from Greymouth with a load of coal when a mysterious explosion rocked the ship blowing the hatch covers of a forward hold, some of which were blown back onto the whee

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First photo I've seen of the damage caused by that explosion. Certainly was extensive.
Your stock of photos never cease to amaze me Emmanuel.
 

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Theey stopped the engines and dropped the anchors straight after the explosion. She as a about a 100 plus years off the wharf. The East Wind, icebreaker, came alongside and the crew were taken of. There was a story afterwards that one engineer shot back and picked up his overtime sheet, before be climbed onto to icebreaker craft. It wasnt me, I left her a few weeks before.
Jim B
 

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A great pic of this incident I heard about when on the Konui in 1968. I supose opening the hatches caused the explosion. I wonder if such an accident has happened before or since.
Regarding the overtime sheet, the main part of the wages was the over time as the basic pay was quite ordinary. The great attraction to working for USSCo was the overtime. Even the R/O got overtime though it was the least of anyone onboard. I should know because I did the wages!
Ch/Cook was No. 1 and 2nd Eng. No.2 in the overtime stakes.
 

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I was on the Aramoana in Wellington that night and walked around early the next morning prior to sailing to view the scene. The enduring memory I have is of the scar on the Topmast where the Hatch Lid scraped on its journey over the side with the Bucko on board. My understanding is that the Coal Gas built up in the Hatch and was ignited when the Power was switched to the Winches for opening the Hatches.The story of the Overtime is used in many stories of the Sea and its Victims..hearing that it was a Union Co Engineer that went back for the O/T Book does not surprise me at all...But the reality was that good men lost thier lives that night and equally good men from another Country were first to get out and about to try and save them....The Brotherhood of the Sea. It was a Sad Event for NZ Seafarers.KPC
 

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KPC,you will find in 1965 the lids were opened with the derricks,at a guess banging out the top dogs might have caused a spark that caused the explosion.
 

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Maritime Casualties & Breaking Yards
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Emmanuel Makarios
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