The crew of Hapag-Lloyd container ship Yantian Express have been successfully evacuated after a fire broke out in a container on the deck of the ship.
Hapag-Lloyd said in a statement that on 3 January, a fire broke out in one container on the deck of the Yantian Express and spread to additional containers. In an update on 6 January, the carrier said “due to bad weather conditions, the fire has not been successfully contained and has significantly increased in intensity at times. Despite the ongoing firefighting support from the salvage tug Smit Nicobar, the fire has not yet been extinguished. For this reason, a decision was made to evacuate the crew.”
Hapag-Lloyd said that the crew is unharmed and was safely transferred to Smit Nicobar on 5 and 6 January. “Further developments of the situation on Yantian Express are being monitored closely, and the firefighting efforts with the salvage tug are ongoing,” Hapag-Lloyd’s statement said.
The German shipping line said that at this time, it was not possible to make a precise estimate of any damage to Yantian Express or its cargo. Hapag-Lloyd is in close co-operation with all relevant authorities.
7,510-TEU Yantian Express, which is 320 m long and sails under German flag in the East Coast Loop 5 service, was built in 2002 and was on its way from Colombo to Halifax via the Suez Canal. As of 6 January, the ship is approximately 800 nautical miles off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada.
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