Posted on June 15, 2018 by Hannah Berry
22 sailors have been rescued after a ferocious fire erupted on board container ship SSL Kolkata and engulfed 70% of the ships’ cargo deck whilst it was anchored at the Sandheads in the Bay of Bengal on 14th June.
The ferocious nature of the fire caused the ship to be abandoned and a tug has been assigned to monitor the situation as the vessel is currently drifting south-east, away from shipping lanes.
Passing ships reported the fire as it took hold around midnight and crew members were unable to send out an SOS. The Coast Guard immediately deployed rescue ship Rajkiran from Haldia, which co-ordinated a rescue effort with the Navy Sea King 42C helicopter and Kolkata Port Trust.
Coast Guard Commander (NE) Inspector General KS Sheoran said. “All the 22 survivors including the captain of the ship were picked up by the Coast Guard vessel." They were all brought back to Haldia and arrived onshore at approx.10pm last night.
The cause of the fire is under investigation with initial reports suggesting that it may have been caused by chemicals which were being transported by MV Kolkata.
The West Bengal Government has been kept abreast of the situation.