A welding accident on board stranded bulk carrier Seli 1 sparked a dramatic fire and a sea rescue yesterday. Gas explosions on the vessel sent thousands of people on the beach running for cover. All 22 salvors working on board the wreck yesterday, at Cape Town’s popular Table View beach, were safely evacuated. Only a few minor injuries were reported. Flames engulfed the vessel’s bridge, setting off explosions that sent metal shrapnel flying through the air. The vessel was on its way to Gibraltar in September when it ran aground in the middle of the night. Attempts to refloat the vessel failed, and the SAMaritime Association decided to dismantle it. It was this work that is believed to have led to yesterday’s fire.