Explosion on Carnival Spirit September 1, 2007
Carnival Cruise Line - Carnival Spirit Explosion
On September 1, 2007 around 0840 hours aboard Carnival Cruise Lines, Carnival Spirit , during an Alaskan Cruise, while many passengers were still asleep, a crew member working aboard the ship was cutting apart a barrel when the residue inside the barrel exploded tearing apart the barrel and injuring the welder.
The drum was brought to a marshaling area outside of the welding shop to be offloaded at the next home port call. The drum was onboard as a result of an irregularly scheduled maintenance on the ship's sewage treatment system. It contained Isopropyl Alcohol.
Over a week before the explosion, a conversation between the Chief Motorman and a Welder revealed the need for an open top drum to hold scrap bits of metal. This conversation took place and then no more interaction on the subject took place.
On the day of the explosion, the welder selected a drum from the marshaling area, moved it into the welding shop and then began cutting the top off with a plasma torch. The vapor inside the drum was too rich with alcohol to cause a fire but as air and alcohol started mixing the air fuel mixture became ideal and the drum exploded.
The drum was heavily damage as was the arm of the welder when parts from the drum were propelled at the welder. The welding compartment was damaged slightly by the explosion, mostly in broken light fixtures and then by water from the activated fire suppression system.