Yantian Express Abandoned in North Atlantic Due to Ongoing Container Fire

Yantian express
MV Yantian Express. Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Liege

The crew of the containership Yantian Express has been evacuated as the container fire continues to burn on board the ship in the North Atlantica, Hapag-Lloyd said in an update on Sunday.

The fire started in one container on January 3rd and has since spread to other containers.

Due to bad weather conditions, the fire has not been successfully contained and has significantly increased in intensity at times, according to Hapag-Lloyd. The salvage tug Smit Nicobar is on scene fighting the fire but as of the latest update, the fire had not been extinguished.

Full Coverage: Yantian Express Fire

The crew of the Yantian Express, comprised of 8 officers and 16 crew, has now been evacuated to the Smit Nicobar. All are unharmed, the company reported.

The ship was last reported to be approximately 800 nautical miles off the coast of Canada (Nova Scotia).

“Further developments of the situation on the Yantian Express are being monitored closely, and the firefighting efforts with the salvage tug are ongoing,” Hapag-Lloyd said in its update.

The company added that it could not make a precise estimate of any damage to the ship or its cargo.

The U.S. Coast Guard said Saturday it was monitoring the situation. 

Built in 2002, the 7,510 TEU Yantian Express is 320 meters long and sails under German flag in the East Coast Loop 5 (EC5) service. 

The ship was underway from Colombo, Sri Lanka to Halifax via the Suez Canal when the fire broke out.