Gibraltar port explosion: Hong Kong-registered bulk carrier loaded with coal erupts in bay
An explosion has rocked a Hong Kong registered merchant ship in the bay of gibraltar, according to reports. The incident happened on Friday evening as the ship, a bulk carrier, entered British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. Initial reports suggest that several crew members have been injured.
The explosion appeared to be in the front part of the ship, an area known as the forecastle.
As yet there are no clues as to the cause of the explosion.
There is no fire on board the vessel, which is loaded with coal.
The Gibraltar Port Authority has deployed paramedic assistance.
Gibraltar is located on a major shipping route and is one of the largest fuelling ports in the Mediterranean.
The Bay of Gibraltar opens to the south into the Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea.
Sovereignty over the waters are the focus of a longstanding dispute between the UK and Spain.
The Spanish government does not recognise British claims to sovereignty over the Bay of Gibraltar, except for a small portion around the Port of Gibraltar.
This has caused various confrontations in the past between the UK and Spain, particularly over the issue of Spanish fishermen operating in British Gibraltar territorial waters.
This latest incident comes after a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier AM Ghent was involved in an oil spillage in the Bay of Gibraltar last week.