Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Maersk Ship With 13 Indians On Board Catches Fire Near Lakshadweep Island

Maersk Ship With 13 Indians On Board Catches Fire Near Lakshadweep Island Maersk Ship With 13 Indians On Board Catches Fire Near Lakshadweep Island
Patty Aguilar | 07 March, 2018, 21:51

A container ship with 27 crew members, including 13 Indians, on board caught fire in the Arabian Sea near Agatti Island in Lakshadweep on Tuesday night, the Indian Coast Guard said.

The Maersk Honam, a 353-metre long, 53.5-metre wide container ship built in 2017, is now carrying 7,860 containers.

Maersk Line said the crew of the vessel Maersk Honam sent out a distress signal after unsuccessful firefighting efforts on Tuesday.

The Indian coast guard said in a statement that flames from the main deck of the ship rose up to its bridge, a height of about 25 metres.

The Coast Guard has pressed into action its assets for the rescue operation, it said.

Of the four missing, one is an Indian. With the fire on the ship continuing to blaze, a fire-fighting vessel of the Coast Guard, ICG Shoor, was expected the reach the spot by Wednesday midnight.

Rescue operations are underway as four crew members, who were on board the Maersk Honam container ship, are still missing. "This by rerouting our own vessels, with assistance of vessels in the area - most notably ALS Ceres that thankfully acted promptly upon our distress call - and the local authorities", says Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Executive Board, A.P. Moller - Maersk. The Indian Coast Guard is involved in emergency response efforts.

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Several other of the company's ships have been diverted from nearby waters to assist in rescue operations, including the MSC Lauren, Edith Maersk and Gerd Maersk.

Maersk Line said this morning the ship was "still on fire" and the situation was "critical".

Apart from the 13 Indians, the container ship also had nine people from the Philippines, two from Thailand and one each from Romania, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

The captain is an Indian.

Two of the rescued crew members are reported to have received medical attention. We will offer crisis counseling for the seafarers signing-off and returning to their families and our thoughts and deepest empathy go out to the families of the crew members that are still unaccounted for.

The spokesperson said: "What we can say is that this is a very serious fire".

The cause of the fire is now unknown, according to Maersk Line.

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