Cargo ships sail through the Suez Canal, seen from a helicopter, near Ismailia, Egypt. (Photo: AP)
Efforts are still ongoing to extinguish a fire aboard a container ship located south of the Suez Canal, which started last Wednesday.
Weather conditions prevented fire-fighting tugboats from getting close enough to the Maersk Kampala to put out the blaze on Friday evening and Saturday morning, according to the shipping company’s press statement on Monday.
“As a result the fire spread to several more containers but was restricted to the two foremost bays,” Maersk said.
No crew members or personnel have been injured or reported missing, the company confirmed.
Since Saturday, “fire-fighting tugs on the scene have been able to continue soaking the area and have managed to reduce the number of containers still on fire to six, all contained within the same bays,” the company said.
A fire-fighting team, on board Monday, is to be reinforced later in the evening by another team who will continue to tackle the fire.
The cause of the blaze is still unconfirmed, though, according to the company the fire originated inside a container at the bottom of the stack and then spread to others.
The vessel was headed to Spain from Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia, when the fire started, as it was sailing past Ras Gharib on the Red Sea Coast north of Hurghada, south of the Suez Canal.
The incident has not had a significant impact on shipping in the international waterway, according to Egyptian authorities.