Posted on January 07, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Hapag-Lloyd’s German-flagged containership, Yantian Express, caught on fire approximately 650 nautical miles off the east coast of Canada on January the 3rd.
The ship was transiting from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Halifax, UK at the time of the incident.
The fire originated in a single container, but soon spread to the rest of the deck.
The crew tried to extinguish the fire but had to suspend its efforts due to rapidly worsening weather conditions.
The vessel then reduced speed and changed its course in an attempt to lessen the wind force and assist firefighting efforts but to no avail.
A commercial salvage tug arrived at the scene to assist the vessel, but due to the adverse weather conditions in the area, it has met with limited success.
As a precaution, due to the nature of potentially dangerous cargo onboard containerships, the crew of 23 seafarers onboard the Yantian Express has been evacuated onto the salvage tug.
“The crew of 8 officers and 15 seafarers is unharmed. Efforts to extinguish the fire in the containers were launched immediately but have had to be suspended for the time being due to a significant deterioration of weather conditions. It is still too early to make a precise estimate of any damage to the vessel or its cargo. Hapag-Lloyd is closely cooperating with all relevant authorities,” the company said in a statement.