SHIPWATCH: MAERSK KAMPALA FIRE STILL BURNS
Maersk Kampala. Picture is by Shipspotting
The fire that broke out in a container on board the 6,800-TEU MAERSK KAMPALA (80,654-gt, built 2001) has spread to six containers which crew and firefighting tugs are struggling to extinguish.
The fire began on Thursday last week in a container situated at the bottom of a stack on board the ship and then spread to a second container. It has since spread into at least another four boxes in the two foremost cargo bays of the ship.
Bad weather has interfered with efforts to fight the fire, making it difficult for tugs to come close alongside. According to Maersk the firefighters on board the ship are attempting to douse the fire by cutting holes in the fire-affected containers as well as hot containers nearby to flood them with water.
The fire began not long after the ship had sailed from the Saudi port of Jeddah in the Red Sea.
There have been no injuries to crew on board the ship and Maersk appears confident the fire will soon be out. However, the condition of the ship remains uncertain, with the vessel not underway and drifting in the Red Sea with no AIS signal being observed.
The spate of fires in containers again highlights the risk and dangers facing shipping lines and even port terminals in accepting sealed containers whose cargo they are unable to verify.
Source: Port ans Ships Maritime News.