Marcus Hook, PA Tanker Explodes After Collision, Jan 1975


Marcus Hook, Pa. (UPI) -- An American tanker rammed a Greek tanker on the Delaware River Friday, touching off explosions and fires aboard the Greek vessel that killed at least two men and injured at least 23 others.
Eighteen other crewmen aboard the Greek ship were unaccounted for, but some were believed on shore leave.
The U.S. Coast Guard said the tanker Corinthos, which carried a Greek crew of 41, was ripped apart by the blasts and subsequent fires that resulted from a collision with the American tanker Edgar M. Queeny shortly after midnight.
One man was pronounced dead on arrival at Crozer-Chester Medical Center shortly after the explosion and a second victim was found hours later on the roof of a warehouse. A spokesman at the Delaware County coroner's office said he was receiving "parts of unidentified bodies."
Twenty-two men from the Corinthos and one from the Queeny were treated at four area hospitals.
About 350 area residents were forced to leave their homes after the series of explosions rocked this Delaware County community, shattering windows in their houses and knocking doors off their hinges.
Coast Guard spokesman, Chief ED CONLON, said the Corinthos was docked at the British Petroleum Oil Co. refinery here when it was struck near its bow by the Queeny which he said "apparently developed some difficulty while getting underway from across the river."
Crewmen leaped from the Corinthos as it exploded, spilling thousands of gallons of oil into the river. The Queeny sustained minor damage and moved out into the river. A barge docked in front of the Corinthos also burned.

Billings Gazette Montana 1975-02-01



Marcus Hook, Pa. (AP) -- Officials have abandoned hope of stopping the four-day fire aboard an oil tanker that exploded at its mooring here.
They say they are letting the ship burn itself out because the fire will consume the ship's oil cargo that otherwise would seep into the Delaware River.
Spilled oil from the Greek tanker Corinthos, which was rammed early Friday by another ship, has already sent slicks over a 50-mile area of the river.
Three persons are known dead, with another 25 missing and presumed dead, making it one of the worst water disasters on the Delaware. Twelve persons were killed when another tanker, Elias, exploded here last April.
The 754-foot Corinthos was unloading crude oil at a British Petroleum (BP) refinery when it apparently was rammed by the American tanker Edgara M. Queeny, sparking masive fires on the Corinthos.
Just what caused the collision is still undetermined, but some Coast Guard officials theorize there may have been a mechanical failure on the Queeny, which had just picked up a load of chemicals from a dock across the river in New Jersey.
A formal Coast Guard inquiry into the disaster will convene Tuesday in Philadelphia.
Officials of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are most worried about oil slicks fouling some 30,000 ducks living along the river.
The decision to let the fire burn amounted to a tacit admission that the 25 persons missing since the collision cannot still be alive. Even after the fire is put out, it may be another day or two before the tanker can be boarded.
Saturday night, survivors from the Corinthos identified the three dead as GEORGIOS BARLALAS, 21, the second officer; CHRISTOPHER FERGADAKIS, 29, pumpman; and EVANGELIA KATTE, 24, the assistant radio officer. All are Greek.
Officials said an earlier identification of one body as MOUSA TAWFLIK, an Egyptian crew member, was inaccurate. He is now considered missing.
Officials estimated at the time of the blast the Corinthos had more than 300,000 barrels, or more than 12 million gallons, of Algerian oil aboard.

Bucks County Courier Times Levittown Pennsylvania 1975-02-03


SES Albatross

remember how covered everything was
can't remember if I was there that night or later
If you were there then Jeff probably was to

Corinthos Disaster

Hello Kara,
I'm so sorry to hear of your family's loss, you have my condolences. I will look for the book and repost here within a couple of days with any information I can give you.


Corinthos Collision and Fire

I remember the Corinthos fire and subsequent clean up. I was working for clean water incorporated upriver on the Elias that night. The Elias is the Greek tanker that exploded a year previously at Fort Mifflin. I heard the explosion and looked in that direction and saw an orange shaft of light going up into the sky. I went to Marcus Hook and helped with the cleanup after the fire was over. As the years went by, I had the opportunity to work on two other tanker collision/fires and numerous other oil and HazMat cleanups

Corinthos disaster

Hi, I was one of the salvage divers on the Corinthos wreck after the disaster. The location of the ship when it burned was just behind the Sun oil refinery. Towards the end of the year we had cut the stern away from the forward section of the ship. The whole time the ship was there it was resting on the river bottom. Once all valves and any holes we could find we're plugged or closed it was cut loose from the rest of the ship and floated off to a scrap yard and the same was done later once the forward se cation was dewatered. Really a shame having something like that happen. Must say that it was really nice living up there for 7 months and would like to go back to see how much it's changed. Hope this shed a little lite into what you knew about the.

I was 9

I too remember this also. I was 9. I remember windows ratting too. We lived on Court St in Claymont. Which was a couple of miles from the center of the explosion..


I was there that night as a crew member on a 90 ft ex USCG cutter that was ownde by the Drexel Hill Sea Scouts ,the MV Albatross. We were “camping” onboard. The Army reserve base in Marcus Hook is where we docked the vessel. We stayed all night ,WOW what an experience.

I remember this

I remember this and the Elias incident well. I was a teenager and living on the New Jersey side of the river, at least five or six miles off. I at first thought we were being bombed -- that'[s how loud it was, even that far off. I remember trying to call my father and being unable to get through, because the phone lines were completely jammed for some time after the incident -- I suppose everyone was trying to call someone right afterwards.

M/V Elias Tanker Explosion


Matina Mentis (Verapatis, was her maiden name) was my mother's cousin. I remember the tragedy. I was just a little girl but the family, my Yaya, always spoke about the tragedy. You should know the one daughter that was lost and never found, was Maria Mentis. Maria was 19 years old and she was engaged to be married. Her fiance did not make the trip and he was deeply profoundly affected by the loss. My mother said eventually he moved away... she thinks to Florida.

I hope this is of some assistance.


ship explodes

I remember getting thrown off my bed over my cousins house down here in NJ . The windows blew out as I fell off the bunk bed . And as the sun rose we walked down the monument here in National Park, Across from Markus Hook And watching for days as the fire burned into the night . A very sad day here on The Delaware River...


Hello. Matina Mentis was my grandfather's first wife and the 3 girls, his daughters. They all died in the explosion before I was born. My grandfather too has passed away. He was never able to speak of the tragedy. All I really know is that he was supposed to be with Matina and never really forgave himself. Also, I know that one of the girls' bodies was never found (Georgina, I think) and that he held out hope for some time that she had actually survived and was wandering around with amnesia somewhere.

He was a kind man... I was wondering if there is any way that I could get a copy of your uncle's book. I'd really like to know more about the family that died before I was born and to better understand my grandfather. Sincerely, Kara