The fire broke out on 3 January in one of the containers onboard the 7,510 TEU container ship 'Yantian Express' approximately 1,015 miles northeast of Bermuda and spread to additional containers. The ship was en route from Colombo to Halifax via the Suez Canal, at the time of the incident.
On the aftermath, 11 non-essential crew members were evacuated to the tugboat Smit Nicobar and Sunday morning all remaining crew were evacuated to the Smit Nicobar, because the fire was not successfully contained. All of the crewmen are safe.
Immediate efforts were launched to put out the fire, but they had to be stopped because of a deterioration of weather conditions. However, the owner now informed:
In the meantime, efforts to extinguish the fire have made continuous progress under the direction of the salvage company Smit and in cooperation with the Hapag-Lloyd crew on the scene as well as Hapag-Lloyd’s emergency-response team in Hamburg. These combined efforts have allowed the fire to be largely contained and brought under control.
The update further informs that, on Wednesday evening, five crewmen were safely transferred back from the ocean-going tug “Smit Nicobar” to the “Yantian Express”.
The “Yantian Express” is currently being towed at a slow speed by the “Maersk Mobiliser” and continues to be about 800 nautical miles off the coast of Canada. A third ocean-going tug is on its way to the “Yantian Express” and is expected to begin assisting the activities on 13 January.
At this time, it is not possible to make a precise estimate of any damage to the “Yantian Express” or its cargo. Hapag-Lloyd is working in close cooperation with all relevant authorities.
The 7,510 TEU “Yantian Express”, which is 320 meters long and sails under German flag in the East Coast Loop 5 (EC5) service, was built in 2002 and was on its way from Colombo to Halifax via the Suez Canal.