Princess Cruises provided Cruise Hive with the following statement:
We are aware of an incident on board Emerald Princess while the ship was alongside at Port Chalmers in New Zealand today. First reports indicate that the incident happened during technical work on the hydraulic launching system on a tender vessel. We are working closely with local police and other authorities in assisting in their response and inquiries. We are deeply saddened that a member of Emerald Princess’ crew was fatally injured in the incident. Emerald Princess is currently on a 12-night round trip cruise from Sydney to destinations in New Zealand.
A 33-year-old Filipino crew member has died after a gas cylinder bottle explosion onboard the Emerald Princess cruise ship.
The tragic incident occurred on Thursday evening when the large Princess Cruises operated ship was docked in Port Chalmers, New Zealand. At around 5:00 PM local time the gas cylinder apparently malfunctioned and hit a crew member while doing some technical work on the ships tender boat hydraulic launch system.
— Sr Edna Welthorpe (@Edna_Welthorpe) February 9, 2017
Local Police are investigating what happened. Inspector Jason Guthrie said, “Police can confirm that there has been a fatality on board a vessel at Port Chalmers this evening,” “Police will be investigating the death on behalf of the Coroner.”
The gas cylinder powered the lifting of the tender boat and when it exploded was flying around before falling on the dock next to the 3,000 passenger ship. No other people were injured as the explosion caused a loud noise and panic onboard the vessel and outside.
Emerald Princess is a calling in Dunedin, New Zealand and is scheduled to depart at around 6:00 PM. The 113,500 gross ton ship is currently sailing a 13-day cruise which is expected back at its homeport of Sydney, Australia on February 13. Dunedin is located in the southeast part of the south island.
We have contacted the cruise line for more details and will update this post once we get a response.