Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Video of Independence of the Seas Moving away from Oil Tank Explosion at Gibraltar

Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas was docked adjacent to an oil tank today (May 31, 2011) when welding on the tank apparently caused it to burst into flames at approximately 3:47pm, injuring 12 passengers on the ship. Independence retracted the gangway and immediately moved a safe distance away.

Amateur video below shows the scene shortly after the explosion.

Earlier photos showed the ship docked immediately adjacent to the tank with its stern well to what would be the left of the tank in this video. As the video progresses you can see the ship moving farther away.

The ship did continue on its itinerary, which was a 14-night cruise which departed Southampton on May 28. At 7:40pm, this evening, local media reported that the flames spread to a second tank, causing evacuation of the port offices.

In the second video, below, there is a short clip that says it was shot approximately 30 seconds after the explosion, before Independence could move, and you can see the close proximity at the time of the blast.