The 59 meter long, 948 dwt tanker Hai Ha 18 suffered an explosion while berthed at Hai Phong, Vietnam. The Hai Ha 18 had been loaded with 900 tons of gasoline when a fuel pump transferring the fuel malfunctioned causing an explosion. A huge fireball erupted from the starboard tank and dense smoke filled the sky. Local authorities dispatched up to 400 firefighters and 15 fire trucks while two vessels attempted to douse the flames. Fearing the fire would get out of control authorities requested the Hai Ha 18 to be taken under tow away from nearby vessels and buildings. Nearby residents were told to be prepared to evacuate if the fire couldn’t be contained. After several hours, the fire was eventually brought under control.
Damage to the starboard hull was severe with part of the hull collapsed by the intense heat of the fire. Booms were placed around the vessel in case the hull ruptures. The Hai Ha 18 still had some gasoline in its cargo tanks after the fire which will be pumped out. No reports of any deaths from the explosion or fire.