The 180 meter long, 37961 dwt chemical tanker Bunga Alpinia caught fire while at the terminal at Labuan, Malaysia. The vessel was loading 6,000 tons of methanol when it exploded engulfing the vessel in flames. Two crewmen were killed while another three were injured from heavy burns. The remaining 24 crewman safely escaped. Local firefighters where called to the scene while some 1,000 residents were evacuated. Before the fire was brought under control, there was a third explosion. The explosion was heard some eight kilometers away. The tanker remains afloat partially listing to port next to the jetty which was partially destroyed. The authorities state the initial cause of the explosion was most likely a lightning strike. The vessel had been struck by lightning twice earlier. The Bunga Alpinia was set to load 15,000 tons of methanol bound for China.
Photos from nst.com.my