Hapag-Lloyd Yet to Accurately Assess Yantian Express Damage
The container fire that broke out on board the Yantian Express on January 3 is largely contained, but Hapag-Lloyd says it is still not possible to make a precise estimate of any damage.
The fire was largely contained and brought under control after one week, and since then, the remaining salvage operations have made considerable progress, says the company.
The responsible salvage master from the company Smit has decided today to sail the Yantian Express to the Port of Freeport (Bahamas). Once there, the recovery and assessment efforts of the cargo can proceed in a safer environment. The container ship is expected to arrive in Freeport in the next few days. She is sailing under her own power with a tug escort.
The vessel had been drifting or moving ahead at a slow bell in the North Atlantic since January 3, when a cargo fire forced her crew to evacuate. The cargo fire broke out on the foredeck of the Yantian Express as she transited about 650 nautical miles off Canada's eastern seaboard. The blaze began in one container and spread to others. Efforts to extinguish the fire in the containers were launched immediately, but these initial operations had to be suspended due to a deterioration of the weather conditions. All crew safely evacuated from the Yantian Express onto the Smit Nicobar on January 6, but a few returned to the vessel on January 9.
The 320-meter, 7,510 TEU vessel sails under German flag in the East Coast Loop 5 (EC5) service. She was built in 2002 and was originally on its way from Colombo to Halifax via the Suez Canal.