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City of Singapore stern down
Title : City of Singapore stern down City of Singapore stern down
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Creator : Thomas, E. A. S., photographer
Date of creation : 1924
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

SS City of Singapore, at Port Adelaide following the fire and explosion on 26 April 1924. The ship carried a large cargo of petrol, benzine and kerosene, and caught fire in the early evening of 26 April. The Port Adelaide firefloat, the fire brigades from Port Adelaide, Semaphore and Wakefield Street in Adelaide fought the fire and by 10.30pm believed it had been contained. Flooding was planned as a final control measure and was being discussed by the chief fire officer, the ship's captain and Port Superintendent when the ship exploded. The intensity of this second fire was far in excess of the initial outbreak: four men were killed and many others injured. Ship's metal was hurled through the adjacent wharf shed and the wharf, road metal was torn up, the firefloat was damaged. Additional fire brigades were called in to assist.

The ship's keel buckled and it settled on the river bed. The fire continued to burn as it reached the bunker coal, and the fire brigades remained in attendance throughout Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. By Thursday work began on bracing the ship which was moving with the rising and falling tides: pumps from the tugboat Woonda were removing water, and by Saturday the undamaged cargo was being moved ashore. The ship's engine room and boilers were completely destroyed. Opinion was that the vessel was 'beyond economical reconstruction'. She was towed to the North Arm of the Port River on 15 September, with the expectation that this would be the end of her. Number 2 Quay, Port Adelaide was free after five months.
Coverage year : 1924
Place : Port Adelaide
Region : Adelaide metropolitan area
Further reading :
Ritter, Ron Triumph, tragedy and Port Adelaide [Para Vista, S. Aust.]: Ronald C. Ritter, 2005 pp. 52-91
Couper-Smartt, John Port Adelaide: tales from a "commodious harbour" Port Adelaide: Friends of the South Australian Maritime Museum, 2003
Parsons, Ronald, Southern passages: a maritime history of South Australia Netley, S. Aust.: Wakefield Press, 1986
Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing exhibitions. Wooden Walls and Iron Sides August 2004-



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