Containerships Catch Fire After Colliding at Malaysia’s Port Klang

Photo credit: Star News via Twitter
Photo credit: Star News via Twitter

Two large containerships collided Tuesday night at Malaysia’s Port Klang, sparking fires in the forward container stacks of both vessels.

The containerships involved were the Marshall Islands-flagged MV San Felipe and the Maltese-flagged MV Al Riffa. A photo from the scene shows a large fire in the cargo area of the San Felipe and damage to some of the containers on deck.

A spokesman for the Port Klang Fire and Rescue Services Department said that they were notified of the incident at approximately 8 p.m. local time, according to reports. The spokesman added that a fire broke out onboard the Al Riffa and it was towed away from the scene to prevent the fire from spreading to the wharf.

No injuries have been reported.

Looking at the AIS data from both vessels, it appears the inbound MV San Felipe struck the moored Al Riffa.

Firefighting operations were expected to continue overnight.

The 13,500 TEU MV Al Riffa is part of the UASC fleet and was delivered in 2012.

Update: Full Statement below from Bernhard Schulte Ship Management, managers of the 8,700 TEU San Felipe is below:

Bernhard Schulte Ship Management report that at approximately 8pm local time this evening (October 28), its managed container vessel ‘San Felipe’ while approaching the berth, with a Pilot on board, at Port Kelang, Malaysia, came into contact with the container vessel ‘Al Riffa’, which was moored alongside the terminal. The contact resulted in a fire in a container stack on the forward sections of both vessels. The fire has been controlled on board the ‘San Felipe’, which moved to a safe anchorage to assess the damage.

There are no injuries to crew as a result of the incident. Tugs are standing by for further assistance, if necessary.

Immediately after the incident the local port authorities and all relevant parties were advised.

The exact cause of the incident is yet unknown. A full investigation will follow.

‘San Felipe’ is a 8700 TEU, Marshall Islands flagged container ship.