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Private inspection firm: MT Solar I ‘structurally fit’

September 6, 2006

By AMITA LEGASPI, GMANews.TV

REPRESENTATIVES of the international service management company that inspected the ill-fated oil tanker MT Solar I on Wednesday testified that the vessel passed all its standards for seaworthiness earlier this year.

Officials of France-based Bureau Veritas (BV) made the statement after finally making an appearance before the Board of Marine Inquiry (BMI) investigating the massive oil spill in central Philippines.

“Based on last attendance on board and all inspection recorded from January to April 2006, in behalf of BV, the vessel (was) structurally fit,” said Felicito Quimpo, BV senior surveyor.

In his testimony, Quimpo noted that the MT Solar I was given a class symbol of 1 or I, which means the vessel fully complied with all BR requirements during the inspection.

According to its web site, Bureau Veritas specializes in quality, health, safety and environment management. It utilizes a “network that covers 140 countries and includes 600 offices and laboratories.”

The BMI last Monday expected Bureau Veritas officials to appear at the investigation, but the latter failed to do so.

(For the full story, click GMA TV, Sept. 6, 2006.)

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