Potentially explosive shipwreck in River Thames to be broken up

Potentially explosive shipwreck in River Thames to be broken up
Detonation may create ‘mass damage’ and five-metre wave, 調査によると

The wreck of a Second World War cargo ship that contains hundreds of tons of explosives will be broken up after decades at the bottom of the Thames.

Specialists from the Royal Navy will advise government sub-contractors on safety as they negotiate the SS Richard Montgomery, which has lain broken over a sandbar in the Thames estuary since 1944.

She was one of about 2,700 Liberty ships built by America to run supplies for the war effort in Europe.

The 7,000-ton cargo vessel ran aground near the Medway approach channel in August 1944 そして, though workers were able to salvage about half her cargo before she sank, いくつか 1,400 tonnes of explosives are still inside her forward holds.

The tops of all three masts protrude above the surface.

The masts of the SS Richard Montgomery protrude above the surface in the Thames estuary

It is feared that if the Richard Montgomery’s entire remaining cargo were to detonate at once, it would produce a 3,000m column of debris and water and a huge tsunami that could threaten London – as well as nearby oil and gas works.

This worst-case scenario is considered unlikely, but even a partial explosion could be dangerous for the tens of thousands of people living nearby.

Experts make regular surveys of her wreck which, 最近まで, had been more or less stable. But the newest report found that deterioration of the ship’s masts threatened to trigger the explosives, による デイリーテレグラフ.

Although the risk of a major detonation is deemed remote, two Royal Navy experts have been tasked with “providing specialist survey and identification advice and expertise” to contractors who will eventually remove portions of the masts, the MoD told 独立者.

The Department for Transport awarded a contract for the work earlier this year.

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Lieutenant General Ian Cave, Commander Home Command and Standing Joint Command (イギリス), added in a statement: “Standing Joint Command (イギリス) is responsible for what are called ‘resilience operations’ through the provision of military aid to the civil authorities.

“That assistancecan include anything from the advisory support provided to those working on the SS Richard Montgomery, to rapid relief following extreme weather, security at major events, explosives and ordnance disposal, そして, most visibly, duties undertaken as part of Operation Rescript – the name for the defence contribution in support of the brilliant NHS.”

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