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TAIC update #2, Amaltal Columbia fire at sea


TAIC update #2, Amaltal Columbia fire at sea

Two investigators from the Transport Accident Investigation Commission have completed (yesterday afternoon, Fri 14 Sep) their examination and evidence gathering from the Amaltal Columbia fire scene and released the vessel back to its owners. The team has also completed interviews with crew closely involved with the event. Further interviews and documentary evidence gathering will continue over the weeks ahead.

The Commission’s inquiry will set out to explain the cause of the fire and identify any lessons that might prevent the chance of a similar event happening in the future, as well as review the way in which the situation was handled on board and during the rescue and recovery operations.

The inquiry is expected to take at least a year to complete. The Commission has the ability to issue safety recommendations at any time, should an inquiry turn up something that should be addressed urgently by others.

(Accident investigation backgrounder: http://www.taic.org.nz/Accidentinvestigation/Accidentinvestigationoverview/tabid/215/language/en-NZ/Default.aspx )

(This is the final update from the scene investigation phase of the inquiry. Earlier statements are repeated below.)


(Update #1 issued 1709 Wed 12 Sep 12)

A Transport Accident Investigation Commission investigator will meet the Amaltal Columbia when it docks under tow in Lyttelton (expected about midnight this evening Wed 12 Sep) and begin a physical examination of the ship tomorrow once it has been made safe. Another investigator is travelling to Nelson to interview from tomorrow morning company officials and the crew which is being returned from Christchurch.

The Commission’s inquiry will set out to explain the cause of the fire and identify any lessons that might prevent the chance of a similar event happening in the future, as well as review the way in which the situation was handled on board and during the rescue and recovery operations.

The inquiry will take up to a year to complete.

(Opening statement, issued 0948 Wed 12 Sep 12)

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has opened an inquiry into the fire aboard the New Zealand-registered Amaltal Columbia fishing vessel. Two investigators have been assigned to the inquiry and they are monitoring the developing situation from Wellington until the vessel and recovered crew’s movements are confirmed.

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