BY THE MARITIME EXECUTIVE
On Friday, a stack fire aboard a product tanker startled residents around the port of Anchorage, Alaska with a loud explosion and a plume of smoke.
The foreign-flagged tanker Atlantic Lily was alongside at a fuel pier in Anchorage on Friday and unloading a cargo of jet fuel. For reasons of a technical malfunction, the boiler began to emit unburned fuel vapor up the stack, a dangerous condition that can result in an explosion. At about 2200 hours, the vapor ignited in the stack, producing a loud boom, thick smoke and visible flames.
The vessel's crew responded to the emergency by deploying fire hoses and extinguishing the flames. The Anchorage Fire Department and Port of Alaska personnel arrived on scene shortly after to provide support, but did not need to board the vessel. The cargo transfer operation was paused until the fire was fully out and the cause had been investigated with Coast Guard oversight.