Containership Catches Fire off Agatti Isle in India, Four Missing

(Image Courtesy: ANI)

Maersk Line on Wednesday informed that four crew members were missing after one of its container vessels caught fire in the Arabian sea, while 23 crew members were safely evacuated.

The crew of the vessel ‘Maersk Honam’ sent out a distress signal after unsuccessful firefighting efforts on Tuesday. The situation is “very critical” as the fire still continues and the cause of the fire is not known yet, the company said.

An Indian Coast Guard official said, “The explosion followed by a massive fire which ripped through the container ship with several Indian crew on board, off the Agatti Islands. Casualties are feared in the disaster that struck on the high seas around 9:45 pm (IST) on Tuesday. The cause of the incident which occurred off the south-west coast of India, is not yet known.”

The ICG’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) Mumbai, received a distress call from the Singapore-flagged 330 m long container ship. The ship had left Singapore on March 1, on way to Suez in Egypt.

The 27 crew members included 13 from India, nine from the Philippines, two Thai nationals and one each from Romania, South Africa and the United Kingdom. The captain is also an Indian and the remaining crew are Philipino, British, Romanian and Thai. At the time of the distress call, the ship was at a distance of 340 nautical miles from Agatti Isles in Lakshwadeep Islands.

(Reference: ANI, Reuters)

Sea News, March 7