Firefighting efforts continue on container ship near Suez Canal

Ahram Online, Friday 30 Aug 2013

Cause of fire still unknown as firefighters battle blaze that started on Wednesday night as ship travelled north towards Suez Canal en route to Spain

Suez Canal
File photo: A Container ship crosses the Suez Canal at Port Said (Photo: Reuters)

Firefighters are still battling a blaze aboard a Maersk Line container ship situated south of the Suez Canal.

Maersk Kampala caught fire on Wednesday night near Ras Gharib in the Red Sea, as the vessel was heading north towards the Suez Canal en route to Spain from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, according to the shipping company.

All crew are accounted for with no injuries, according to Maersk, which is in communication with the vessel, but the extent of the fire is yet unknown, as tug boats are still trying to extinguish the blaze.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Al-Ahram Arabic news website reports that 1,600 out of 4,000 containers have been affected, with losses of up to $150 million, though the company has not confirmed this.

The company expects an additional firefighting team to arrive on Friday afternoon, and Egyptian authorities have dispatched 3 military vessels to surround the ship, according to Al-Ahram.

Suez Canal Authority head Mohab Mimish said the authority was monitoring firefighting operations and had two firefighting tugboats on standby in case Maersk requested assistance.

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