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Saturday, December 9, 2023


Three crew members on Holland America Line's Veendam were injured Thursday, one critically, when a fire extinguisher they were refilling exploded.
One crewman reportedly lost an arm and a leg in the accident. The two others had corneal abrasions and other injuries. The crewman who lost his limbs is in critical condition and expected to undergo further surgery. He has been with the cruise line for 25 years.
Two of the men are being treated at the Roy L. Schneider Hospital, where they were taken after the explosion.. One of the crew members was treated on board.
The nephew of the critically injured crewman, who is also a crew member, stayed behind to care for his uncle. The two are reportedly from Indonesia.
Erik Elvejord, spokesman for Holland America., confirmed Friday that crew members who witnessed the explosion are being offered crisis intervention onboard the ship, which was bound for Puerto Rico.
Elvejord said the Coast Guard has already completed an investigation and determined the explosion was an accident.
"This is very tragic to us. As a company you become very close to your employees."
As part of the employee contract, Elvejord said, all medical bills will be paid, "there will be no cost" to the employee. He also said Holland America has a disability contract that would cover the employee's salary and that the company would "supplement" that if necessary.
A representative of Holland America is on his way to St. Thomas to assist and one of the ship's nurses also remained behind with the crew members.
Elvejord wasn't surprised to learn that the nephew and uncle were both working on the same ship. He said it was common to find family members crewing together.
He added that Holland America has a policy that allows family members to be flown in when called for.
"It is likely we will be flying a few family members in to be with," the injured men.

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