Lightning caused the explosion an oil tanker during ballasting manoeuvres after unloading a crude oil shipment. The port was closed to all navigation. A pollution spill covered a 15-kilometre stretch upstream and downstream. A second explosion also occurred destroying the remaining dock facilities. Two operators, the lorry driver and 3 sailors were all killed. The fire assault continued into the next day and extended until September 2, 1972 in cooling the sheet metal. The pollution was neutralised with 38,800 litres of Cirexit and 96 tonnes of water-repellent Nautex, while the banks were cleaned using 2,300 litres of Polycien. On the boat, the 3,100 tonnes of product remaining had to be pumped by tanker trucks. A 590-m breakwater had been installed, yet proved ineffectual due to the tidal currents.