INSPECTION of the salvaged section of the MOL Comfort, which split in two in the Indian Ocean in June, has revealed buckling deformations measuring 20 millimetres in height at the bottom the hull amidships, reports Lloyd's List.
Water ingress in the bottom of the hull amidships is likely to have pre-dated the hull fracture, according to the preliminary report from Japan's ClassNK, the classification society that declared the ship seaworthy.
This may have been the cause of the hull rupture, but it is not conclusive, said the report.
Inspectors looked at the loads and hull strength at the time of the accident and weather conditions along with research into earlier MOL Comfort voyages extracting data on sea conditions and cargo loading to estimate the vessel load.
They also used non-linear finite element three-hold modelling, and dynamic wave loads, including whipping effects, to analyse structural hull capacity on the MOL Comfort.
The 8,100-TEU Bahamas-flagged ship, was sailing from Singapore to Jeddah when it split in two in June. All 26 crew took to lifeboats and were rescued by Hapag-Lloyd's 7,500-TEU Yantian Express, which was in the area.
Following the disaster, the Japanese carrier strengthened the hull structures of two of its sister vessels, MOL Courage and MOL Celebration following structural inspections by ClassNK and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Lloyd's Register.