Sjøforklaring 1939 - 1945
Informasjonen nedenfor vedr. skip i Nortraships flåte er direkte avskrift av orginalkilden "Sjøforklaringer fra andre verdenskrig (1940 - 1945)". Informasjonen her er fra sjøforklaringer holdt under og rett etter krigen og kan derfor avvike noe fra den øvrige kvalitetssikrede informasjonen i Krigsseilerregisteret.
M/S "Belray. Report
Bombay. Friday 14th April 1944
Ship berthed at L/M Shed Prince's Dock for final trial of engine after 11 months' repair.
Draft approximate F.7'00" A.16'06".
At about 16.00 hours a terrific explosion occurred on a burning ship in Victoria Dock. The explosion was followed by a series of smaller explosions ending with another heavy one approximately an hour later.
After the first explosion it was found that red hot pieces of iron and metal caused several small fires aft which were subsequently extinguished by the ship's Officers, Crew and Gunners. It was also found there had been a large number of casualties among the coolies working onboard caused by splinters from the exploded ship. Also one English gunner Mr. Staines was killed and several of the ship's compliment had received injuries. Cook Alfred Ødegaard gtot his right fore-arm badly smashed by splinters and the 4th engineer A. Grønneberg was injured during the second heavy explosion whilst leaving the danger zone. These two were later taken to hospital.
Between the two big explosions an order was received onboard to abandone the ship, but the source of this order has, as yet, not been ascertained.
Most of the men onboard now left the ship as red hot splinters hurled down, the warehouse on the quay on fire and several new fires had started aft on the poop deck and in the lifeboats. Firehoses had been laid out to put out the fire in the warehouse, but as several fires had started onboard again the hoses were used to put out the fire onboard. But by this time no water was available owing to the auxilliary engines having stopped.
Most of the crew and the labourers had by this time left the ship with the exception of gunner Mr. Hayward who was still helping casualties ashore, 2nd Officer Bror Jan Blom and 3rd Engineer N. Olsen who tried to start up the generators again and the Captain who also was helping casualties ashore and finally went onboard to recover ship's papers.
As the fire onboard increased and the second big explosion had occurred and the starting up of the ship's generators failed, the ship was abandoned as the amunition aft started to go off.
The Chief Officer and Chief Engineer were unable to save any of the ship's Log Books as well as other Ship's papers in their possession. All Officers and Crew accomodated aft had their papers and personal belongings destroyed by fire. The Captain, Wireless Operator and the Steward accommodated amidships had some of their clothes destroyed by blast and dust.
During the night the fire-brigade arrived and got the fire under control and stopped it from spreading. The fire had completely destroyed the whole Poop above main deck and the wooden hatches and ceiling in the after hold.
Our list of casualties,
1 English Gunner. Mr. Staines.
1 Chinese Fitter.
5 Indian Labourers.
and a certain amount of wounded carried on shore.
Bombay, April 20th 1944
E. H. Jahr, Chief Officer
Carl Johansen, Chief Engineer
J. Blom, 2nd Officer
Einar Nystrøm, Wireless Operator
Ø. Barth, Master