The UK’s chemical cargo shipping industry is now operating in a state of limbo as it grapples with a potential explosion in its fleet of ships, including the largest vessel yet to be decommissioned.

The National Maritime Safety Authority said on Thursday that the agency was looking into whether a chemical cargo vessel operated by British firm Alstom should be allowed to remain in service.

Alstom is a British chemical and chemicals manufacturer with a total of 5,300 workers.

Its biggest ship is the Royal Caribbean Cruises vessel, which has more than 2,500 workers and can carry up to 1,500 tonnes of chemicals.

The company said in a statement on Thursday it would look at the situation and “consider options to restore operations if appropriate”.

However, it added that it “remains committed to the safety and security of all our crew”.

“Our safety record reflects the safety of our employees and our ship is operated by highly qualified and professional crew who have the utmost respect for our employees,” the statement said.

“This is something we are determined to ensure continues and we continue to work with the authorities to ensure this does not happen again.”

The Royal Caribbean ship is owned by British company Alstor, which operates a number of ships across the Atlantic, including a ship in the Caribbean that is currently undergoing decommissioning.

AlStom has been operating in the UK since 2012, after it was acquired by French company Ocean Maritime Services.

Its new vessels have a capacity of more than 100,000 tonnes of cargo.