Photos Reveal Damage to MSC Flaminia After Blast, Second Explosion Disrupts Firefighting [UPDATED]

Latest photo, released July 20, showing damage to the MSC Flaminia

Update (Tues. 7/24/12): Blaze Contained on MSC Flaminia

Update (Fri. 7/21/12): Salvors Board Burning MSC Flaminia

Update 1: Firefighting operations on MSC FLAMINIA had to be aborted late Tuesday night as a second explosion erupted in bay 47 of the vessel but resumed on Wednesday afternoon as cooling allowed crews to prevent a further expansion of the fire.

According to an update from the salvage captain, the hull of the vessel is intact however due to damaged cargo and firefighting operations the vessel is now listing by approximately 8-10 degrees. It can be observed that superstructure, engine room, the stern section and the forecastle of the ship have all not been affected by the second explosion. The second explosion has been determined to be the result of dangerous goods on board.

Meanwhile, the 18 crew and two passengers from the MSC FLAMINIA arrived safely at Falmouth, UK on board the oil tanker DS DRWON late Wednesday evening.

A second firefighting tug, the ANGLIAN SOVEREIGN, is expected to arrive at the site late Thursday night. A third tugboat, the CARLO MAGNO, has also been ordered to the scene to help with firefighting operations. The plan now is to hold MSC FLAMINIA’s position with one tugboat while the two others proceed with the firefighting operations.

Latest estimates indicate that the firefighting operations “could take some weeks”.

Below are the latest pictures from Wednesday’s report:

MSC Flaminia

Wednesday Update: SMIT’s firefighting tugboat Fairmount Expedition reached the MSC Flaminia at approximately 11:00 a.m on Tuesday and immediately commenced fire fighting operations on the still burning box ship.

The extent of damage to the MSC Flaminia and its cargo still cannot be determined, however, pictures taken by the crew of the M/V Hanjin Ottawa indicate that neither the superstructure, engine room, stern section or forecastle of the ship have been directly affected by the explosion or fire.

Here’s a close up of the damage to the MSC Flaminia:

MSC Flaminia damage close up

Reederei NSB, operator of the German-flagged MSC Flaminia, says that fire fighting operations will continue and the salvage captain is expected to give an initial assessment of the situation shortly.

Meanwhile the second engineer of the Hanjin Ottawa, which is the MSC Flaminia’s sister ship that has been on scene since early Tuesday, was transferred to the Fairmount Expedition tug and will assist the salvage team with technical expertise and is expected to reactivate the fire fighting systems on board the burning vessel.  Once safe, the search will resume for the still missing crewmember and the MSC Flaminia will eventually be towed to Europe.

Previous MSC Flaminia Updates

Update 2: MSC Flaminia Update: Blast Leaves Two Dead, Three Injured

Update 1: MSC Box Carrier Catches Fire in Middle of North Atlantic