On the night of April 7, 1990, at around 2 pm local time, there was a fire on the ship (Ferry). A passenger saw it and told the receptionist about it.
Ms Scandinavian Star (Photo Credit : Twitter)
The original name of the passenger ship ‘MS Scandinavian Star’ was MS Masalia. It was built in France in 1971. On the night of 7 April 1990, a fire broke out in the ship and killed 159 people. The person who was found guilty in the official investigation also died in this fire, after which this investigation has been in controversy.
In 1990 the Scandinavian Star was sold to Vognmandsruten and put on service on the DA-NO Linnegen route between Oslo, Norway and Friedrichshaven, Denmark. As a casino was changed from a ship to a passenger ship, a new crew was to be trained and given just ten days to learn new responsibilities while on National Geographic Channel’s documentary series Seconds of Disaster During the interview, Master Mariner Captain Emma Tiller said that a crew for a star-sized ship takes six to eight weeks in trannig.
Insurance company gave warning
It was explained in the documentary that many of the crew could not speak English, Norwegian or Danish. This could have affected their response in an emergency. Eric Stein, the technical leader of the insurance company Skuld, had inspected the ship shortly before and announced a lack of fire preparation for several reasons.
On the night of 7 April 1990, at around 2 pm local time, the ship caught fire. A passenger saw it and told the receptionist about it. The fire was continuously spreading. The staircase and roof served as a chimney to spread the fire. The fire started from deck 3 and spread to decks 4 and 5.
Passengers lost due to lack of training
When the captain came to know about the fire, he tried to close the bulkhead fire door on deck 3. The captain ordered his crew to shut down the ventilation system when it realized it was causing the fire. Smoke was going into the passengers cabin through the door vents.
Many passengers tried to hide in the bathroom to escape the smoke. Those who tried to run away were confused by the crew’s instructions due to lack of training. Investigators gave several reasons why many passengers could not be safely rescued.
Many reasons for the death of people
Investigators said many people had not heard the alarm, probably because of the distance between their cabin and the alarm. Some people may have lost the way due to the smoke. The burning of melamine panels in the hallway produced poisonous hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide, which led to rapid unconsciousness and death. Many Portuguese crew members did not speak or understand Norwegian, Danish or English, were unfamiliar with the ship and had never practiced fire drills.
Fire extinguished in 10 hours and 159 died
Only a few members of the crew put on masks before entering the smoke-filled corridor. The captain turned on the general alarm and asked everyone to leave the ship. The ship was taken to Lycekil, Sweden, where the fire brigade overcame the fire within ten hours.
The captain said that 395 passengers and 97 crew were aboard the ship. It was later discovered that 158 passengers or one-third of the people aboard the ship were killed. Another badly injured passenger died two weeks later. Of those killed, 136 were from Norway.
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