Four Amaltal Columbia crew hospitalised

05:17, Sep 13 2012

Two more people have been hospitalised after suffering gas poisoning while removing frozen fish from the stricken Amaltal Columbia at Lyttelton.

Two crew members of the Talley's-owned boat, which caught fire at sea yesterday, suffered suspected ammonia poisoning at lunchtime today and were taken to Christchurch Hospital.

They had not been wearing respirators while taking the fish out of a part of the hull unaffected by the blaze.

Only hours later, two more crew had to be taken to hospital, this time for suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.

Deputy chief fire officer Greg Crawford said Talley's needed personal protective equipment if they wanted to continue unloading the fish.

The carbon monoxide pockets in the hull were likely to be a result of the fire, he said.


Firefighters were still checking hot spots and had put in fans to dissipate the gas so crew could continue unloading the fish, but it was evident specialised equipment was needed that the Fire Service could not supply, he said.

The Nelson-based vessel was 85 kilometres northeast of the Lyttelton Heads when a blaze broke out in the fishmeal hold about 5.20am yesterday.

It was towed still burning into Lyttelton by the San Discovery at 12.30am today and about 22 firefighters fought the blaze until 5am.

The crew hospitalised today were not believed to have been on the ship at the time of the blaze.


The Press