Saturday, 15 December 2018

Second inquest into death of man in ship explosion after new evidence comes to light

Dominic Moffitt

An second inquest will be held into the death of Celso Banas in the new year Picture: Archant

A second inquest will be held into the death of a Filipino man who died whilst working aboard a ship after new evidence came to light. 

The Manhattan Bridge container ship where Mr Banas died Picture: MIKE PENNOCK
Suffolk coroner Nigel Parsley told a pre-inquest review hearing that new evidence brought forward by a Japanese report a into the death of Celso Banas, 35, in January 2017 would be used in the latest inquest, set to take place from February 4.
Mr Banas was aboard the Manhattan Bridge, a Japanese registered container ship that was docked at Felixstowe harbour, when he died following an explosion in a boiler room.
Last April an inquest found that he had been struck by debris in the explosion, with a post-mortem examination confirming that his death had been caused by multiple injuries. 
However since then information has been brought forward by the Japanese Transport Safety Board (JTSB) showing that boiler alarms were reportedly activated five times before the accident.
The Japanese shipping container was docked at Felixstowe when the explosion happened Picture: CONTRIBUTED
The report also said findings by the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch found that fuel flow to the boiler system had been restricted by waxy deposits.
Such deposits can cause flame failures in boilers triggering the alarms.
A previous hearing detailed how the company behind the vessel has reportedly since trained staff about the deposits and made a number of safety changes to the boilers themselves and surrounding equipment.
Mr Parsley said there was no criminal suspicion surrounding the investigation but said: “I think at the last inquest some things were lost in translation.
“Especially with all the maritime language being used, we need to have a report for the layman and ensure that a jury will not be confused by some reports.
“I would like to offer my condolences to Mr Banas and his family.
“There is no suspicious third party involvement with this case.
“There was an initial police inquiry but this did not reveal any criminal action or lead to any arrests.”

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