Negligence suspected in Oldendorff vessel bridge brush

Erna Oldendorff. Credit: Glenn Towler
Erna Oldendorff. Credit: Glenn Towler

The captain of an Oldendorff Carriers vessel that hit a bridge in Japan is suspected of negligence, according to local media reports.

At about 07:00 JST on 22 October, Erna Oldendorff, a 2016-built 38,330 dwt open-hatch cargo ship, was sailing from Shimonoseki to Etajima when it came into contact with the 1,020 m Oshima Bridge.

The bridge connects Yanai City and Oshima town in Yamaguchi Prefecture and the impact cut off water and electricity supply to 9,000 households in the area.

The Japan Coast Guard said that the mast and crane of the Malta-flagged vessel had hit the bridge.

The ship master was questioned by the coastguard and media reports alluded to negligence on his part.

The town’s water pipe, which was installed under the bridge, was broken by the impact, resulting in emergency water supply having to be set up in more than 10 locations in the town.

None of the 21 crew members on Erna Oldendorff was injured and the ship is now anchored near Kure, as investigations are carried out.

Oldendorff Carriers had not responded to IHS Markits’s requests for comment at the time of publication.