Built by the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation, the SS United Victory started its service for the civilian contractor, American President Lines, in March 1944 under hull number 85. It participated in the battle of Okinawa from the 10th to the 19th of April 1945. The SS United Victory was purchased by the London-based operator Furness Withy after the war and renamed Khedive Ismail, after the 19th-century Egyptian ruler, Isma’il Pasha. Refitted as a cargo liner with a 78 people capacity, it made runs between Cairo and New York until 1961. In 1974, the vessel was acquired by the Egyptian Navigation Company. The SS United Victory's life ended seven years after and it was scrapped at the Gadani ship-breaking yard.
Asbestos was lining most major areas of this ship, including the passenger and crew sections. However, the largest quantities of asbestos were present in the engine rooms and the boiler room. Due to this fact, those who worked aboard the ship and those who were involved in the correlated renovation works or who used the ship as a transport means were exposed to the perils of this toxic substance. Asbestos particles are invisible and they are easily inhaled. Once they get inside the lungs, they can produce irreversible damage and cause diseases such as cancer.