Never interviewed for tanker explosion report, injured welder says
A welder who suffered extensive burns in an oil tanker fire off eastern Newfoundland has doubts about a federal investigation into the incident.
Pat Stamp is still recovering from burns over much of his body, caused by an explosion on the MV Kometik in April 2006, while it was docked in Conception Bay for maintenance.
Deckhand Wayne Dalton was killed when fumes ignited in a tank in the vessel. The incident led to criminal charges against the ship's owner and key personnel.
But Stamp said he has doubts about a key finding in a Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigation, which said that the clothes Dalton was wearing contributed to his severe injuries.
The report said that the coveralls that Stamp was wearing contributed to the severity of his injuries. Stamp disputes that.
"Those disposable coveralls just disappeared. There was no flame," said Stamp, whose face and body still bear the scars of searing heat and multiple skin grafts.
"This guy was [of] the impression that I got burned with flame when the tank ignited, but the tank didn't ignite that way. The tank ignited with fumes, which you couldn't see, so I got burnt with heat."
Stamp said he was surprised to see the conclusion, given that he was not even interviewed in the process.
Stamp said when he met with the lead investigator on Thursday, he was told that the interview was not scheduled because Stamp had been in hospital.
"He said he didn't have time to interview me because of my condition in hospital. This report is … two years and nine months [since then], so I had lots of time after I woke up."
Stamp still must take 30 pills each day to treat the physical and mental anguish from the explosion.
The Kometik case has made its way through the courts.
The ship's captain, Gough Wellon, and chief officer Raymond Riggs both pleaded guilty to violations of the Canada Labour Code, and paid fines of nearly $50,000. The ship's owner, Canship Ugland, and company superintendent Chesley Button, also pleaded guilty and were fined.
Stamp said he believes the company got off easy.
"The company walked away smiling. They come out like shining stars when they donated $100,000 to the Marine Institute for a training course that's already ongoing," Stamp said.
Stamp told CBC News that he believes that if the company had followed the rules in the first place, the explosion would never have happened, that Dalton would still be alive, and his body would not be disfigured.