Accidental release of vinyl chloride monomer from liquid gas carrier Coral Acropora exposing at least 33 people to vapours

Location: Preparing to discharge cargo alongside at the Port of Runcorn, Manchester Ship Canal, England.

Accident Investigation Report 4/2005

Read our marine accident investigation report, which includes what happened, actions taken and subsequent recommendations:

Coral Acropora.pdf (1,317.01 kb)

Coral Acropora - Appendix C (Health and Safety Laboratory Report) (1,151.88 kb)


The gas carrier Coral Acropora was alongside the EVC berth at Runcorn on the Manchester Ship Canal when there was an escape of part of her cargo of Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM). At the time of the accident, she had been preparing to start to discharge her cargo into shore cargo tanks situated about 3 kilometres from the berth.

Safety Issues

  • poor operational practices were identified on Coral Acropora


Soon after the accident, the MAIB issued a Safety Bulletin (PDF, 13KB) advising all tanker operators on the importance of ensuring that good tanker practice is observed at all times during cargo operations. Further recommendations have been made to the vessel’s owners, the charterer and berth operator, SIGTTO, OCIMF and ICS. These are aimed at reinforcing the message that terminal and vessel operators should check and ensure that safety management systems are working in practice and that cargo operations, in particular, are always conducted in accordance with industry guidelines.

This report was published was published in March 2005.

Published 23 January 2015