CARDIFF, Wales, Sept. 14 (AP) — The biggest tapioca pudding in the world is cooking in the hold of a fire-swept Swiss freighter and threatening to split the vessel at its seams.
"It's like a huge tapioca time bomb," said an incredulous fire chief today as he watched the smoldering 12,165-ton Cassarate at the Cardiff docks.
Firemen earlier controlled the fire which started in timber stacked in the upper holds 25 days ago at sea. The crew kept the smoldering timber dampened until the ship docked here late [on September 12].
But the water from the Cardiff hoses seeped down to the lower holds where 1,500 tons of tapioca from Thailand were stored.
The water swelled the tapioca and the heat from the flames started to cook the sticky mess.
The swelling tapioca — enough to serve a million plates — could buckle the ship's steel plates, fire chiefs warned.
"It's got to burst somewhere," one said. "It will take dockers a couple of days to clear the smoldering lumber before we can reach the tapioca."
The plan is to load the gluey mess onto a fleet of trucks and dispose of it. One report said there was enough to fill 500 trucks.
But where do you dump 500 truckloads of tapioca pudding?
Saturday, July 15, 2006
tapioca time bomb
The following is a genuine news story from 1972: