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Cruise ship explosion led to fatal worker injury

New Yorkers and others who work on cruise ships are subject to dangers that employees on land do not face. This is one primary reason that United States laws protecting these workers have been tailored to meet the specific needs of those who have been injured while working on a vessel, whether at sea, at anchor or in port.

Inflatable life boats are an important feature of any cruise ship, and these must be rigorously maintained, as well as the systems necessary for launching them in an emergency. This service may have been the task undertaken by a crew member on board a ship in port when a nitrogen gas cylinder he was using exploded. The force of the explosion sent the high pressure cylinder from the vessel to the pier, according to a passenger who witnessed the event, and noise from the blast carried more than a mile from the vessel.

Clearance must be given before the vessel may leave the New Zealand port, and the explosion is currently still under investigation. Local authorities are collaborating with the cruise line to discover the cause of the accident which resulted in the worker’s death.

Personal injury and wrongful death claims have a statute of limitations under maritime law, and a delay in filing may prevent someone from receiving compensation to cover medical expenses and other financial impacts from an accident. A passenger or crew member who is injured while on a vessel may benefit from the advice of a maritime attorney.

Source: The Maritime Executive, “Explosion Kills Cruise Ship Crewmember in Port Chalmers,” Feb. 9, 2017

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