STRIDE Ship Fire Kills 2, Injures 1 Leaving Unanswered Questions in Port Houston


Breaking NewsAn investigation is underway after an unexplained ship fire took the lives of two and injured a third crew member at a Port Houston Container Terminal on Monday morning.  A large container ship–STRIDE-was refueling when suddenly a fire broke out in the engine room. The boat was sitting at the dock at the Barbours Cut Container Terminal in La Porte. It is one of several terminals operated by the Port of Houston Authority, known as “Port Houston.” A medical helicopter flew the surviving victim to the hospital. His status has not been released at this time.

STRIDE is a container ship that is registered in Panama under IMO ship identification number: 9149835. STRIDE was built in 1997 and has a gross tonnage of 21611. Despite its origin, the ship falls under maritime law due to its location in international waters at the time of the incident.

The fire started around 4:00 a.m. and has been extinguished but the cause is under investigation by the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Harris County Fire Marshall’s Office. Details of the cause of the fire have not been released.

Who Is Liable For a Ship Fire?

Anytime a ship catches fire, the owner of the ship is liable for injuries and damages from the fire if the owner’s negligence contributed to the fire in any way under Maritime Law.  Under an archaic maritime law, the sip owner can limit the total liability to the total value of the ship itself–however, this is less of a concern when a large container ship is in question vs a smaller vessel.

How Do Ship Fires Start?

Wear and tear on old rusty pipes resulting in fuel and other flammable liquid leaks can result in ship fires, particularly if someone tosses a cigarette or a spark occurs in the area. Ships have a lot of mechanical parts. As a ship ages, the parts must be inspected regularly to prevent breaks and leaks that may result in a ship fire. Poor storage of used oily rags as well as flammable supplies can create the potential for a ship fire. Additionally, trash and the build-up of bacteria can create an atmosphere ripe for a ship fire to ignite. All of these problems are well-known issues that must be inspected for and addressed in the ship maintenance, cleaning, and inspection rules.  In addition to these, a haphazardly tossed match or cigarette while fueling the ship could trigger a ship fire.

Talk to a Maritime Lawyer

If you or a loved one was injured or killed due to a ship fire on a container ship like STRIDE or another ship, talk to a Houston offshore accident lawyer about your rights in a free, no-obligation consultation.  At Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., our Maritime injury attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis and charge no fees and no litigation expenses unless a recovery is made for you. Call 800-298-0111 today to learn your rights. Personal injury and maritime accident claims are subject to strict maritime statutes of limitations and often have specific notice requirements.  Do not delay in protecting your rights until it is too late for you to do so.




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