Exposure to toxic gas has been blamed for the death of two Indian crew members on a Norden tanker in Bangladesh.

The incident took place on the 50,000-dwt Nord Magic (built 2009) at anchorage off Chattogram on Saturday.

The two men who died were named by the New Age daily as Kerala residents Jishnu Raj, 29, and Akhil Sekhar, 26.

Danish owner Norden told Maritime Bulletin that the pair were not Norden seafarers but riding personnel, ie crew members brought on board for shorter periods to carry out specific tasks.

“The cause of the sad incident is still unknown,” the company added.

Kabir Hossain, officer-in-charge of Patenga police station, said other crew members reported the two had entered a tank to check its thickness before being overcome.

Coast guard personnel and the local shipping agent, Mohammadi Trading, brought the two ashore and took them to a private hospital in the port, where they were declared dead.

Nord Magic had arrived in Chattogram on 15 June with Argentinian soybean oil.

The tanker had unloaded 4,240 tonnes of the cargo and was due to head to Haldia in India.

Arif Mahmud, manager of operations at Mohammadi Trading, told New Age that there were 25 crew members on the ship.

Profit forecast raised

Norden meanwhile has announced an increase in its profit forecast due to highly volatile tanker rates and recent disposals of bulkers.

The company said it now expects to log earnings of between $420m and $500m this year, up from an estimate of $340m to $420m previously.

The expected improvement will mostly be concentrated in the second and third quarters.

“We are benefitting from having shifted our short-term exposure increasingly towards the tanker market,” chief executive Jan Rindbo said.

In addition, we have utilised a strong asset trading environment to conduct profitable dry cargo vessel sales, while ensuring downside protection in the dry cargo market by balancing our market exposure for 2022 with cargo contracts”, he added.