In one of those odd twists of fate, last week a ship lost 31 containers in a storm off eastern Australia — and was itself damaged by one of them! The bit of poetic justice occurred aboard the Hong Kong-flagged Pacific Adventure near Moreton Island off the Queensland coast. It was unclear whether the ship hit the container, or the container was swept into the ship, but the result was a spill of up to 25,000 gallons of fuel oil, which drifted ashore and blighted 10 miles of coastline on Queensland’s popular Sunshine Coast and offshore islands. But Murphy’s Law wasn’t done yet: one of the containers — all of which were full of ammonium nitrate — burst open before going over the side, spewing three tons of the the poisonous white powder all over the midships portion of the ship. The crew managed to stop the fuel leak by pumped fuel from the damaged tank into other tanks, but as a final insult, the ship sprang a second oil leak as it pulled into Brisbane on Friday.
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