It’s been three days since a fire broke out on board the containership Maersk Kampala just south of the Suez Canal and the crew on board has yet to douse the flames inside six of the cargo containers on board. In an emailed statement this afternoon, Maersk spokesperson Mikkel Linnet notes that the fire has remained isolated to the two foremost cargo bays of the vessel and that all crew are “accounted for and safe in the accommodation area with no injuries reported.”
Maersk notes that on August 29th, the fire originated in a container at the bottom of a stack before spreading to a second container.
Tugs soon came to support the onboard fire-fighting efforts, but the flames eventually spread as unfavorable weather conditions prevented these tugs from getting close enough to have maximum effect.
Since Saturday, Maersk notes weather conditions have improved resulting in more effective fire-fighting support from the tugs, while keeping the fire contained to the two foremost bays. Maersk adds, “the fire fighting team on board is also now well into the process of extinguishing the fire inside containers by cutting open the hot containers as well as those nearby and flooding them with water. To speed up this process, an additional fire fighting team will come aboard this evening.”
Although fire still burns inside six containers, the extent of the damage is likely far more extensive.