We’re getting our first good look at damage to the Hapag-Lloyd ship Yantian Express after a container fire broke out on January 3 during a trip across the Atlantic Ocean en route to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The ship was spotted Tuesday, January 15, as the 7,510 TEU-capacity containership was under tow to Halifax by the ocean-going Maersk Mobiliser. We are told the photos were shot from a distance of about 3 miles.
As you can see from the photos below, the damage is mainly contained to containers in the forward part of the ship near the bow. Some light grey smoke can still be seen coming from the holds.
The fire on the Yantian Express started in a single container on 3 January and spread to additional containers on deck as weather hampered initial fire fighting efforts. All 24 crew members eventually abandoned ship to the ocean-going tug Smit Nicobar on January 5-6 and were reported as unharmed.
Hapag-Lloyd reported January 10th that efforts to extinguish the fire were making progress under the direction of the salvage company Smit. The company reported the status of the fire as largely under control, but it could not yet make a precise estimate of any damage to the ship or its cargo. Due to the improving fire status, the company said five of the Hapag-Lloyd were also had returned to the vessel.
The Yantian Express is now under tow by the Maersk Mobiliser accompanied by the Smit Nicobar and a third ocean-going tug that arrived Tuesday. A fourth tug has reportedly been sent to assist with fire fighting.
The 320-meter German-flagged Yantian Express was built in 2002 and operates on the East Coast Loop 5 (EC5) service.
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