An evacuated crew member
from the 2017-built container ship Maersk
Honam has died from injuries sustained during the major fire
that broke out aboard the vessel while underway in the Arabian Sea on Tuesday 6
March ‘18, Maersk Line has confirmed.
The deceased crew member
was one of twenty-three who evacuated from the burning ship. The male victim, a
Thai national, is the first confirmed fatality in the incident.
Maersk Line said in a
statement that victim’s health condition drastically deteriorated Wednesday afternoon
(CET) due to the injuries sustained in connection with the fire.
Four additional crew
members remain missing.
The remaining 22 crew
members who were evacuated are currently enroute to Sri Lanka on board the
containership ALS Cere.
“We are deeply saddened
with the passing of one of our colleagues who in the first place had been
evacuated. The seriousness of the event has escalated and everyone in Maersk is
moved by this. We are in contact with the family of the deceased and our
thoughts and condolences go to them,” says Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer
and member of the Executive Board of A.P. Moller – Maersk.
The MV Maersk Honam, an
ultra-large container ship (ULCS), was enroute from Singapore towards Suez when
it reported a serious fire in a cargo hold on March 6 at 15:20 GMT while
approximately 900 nautical miles southeast of Salalah, Oman.
After sending out a
distress signal, a total of 23 crew members evacuated to the nearby
containership, the ALS Ceres, which arrived at the scene around 18:30 GMT,
according to Maersk.
The fire onboard the
Maersk Honam continued Wednesday. The situation of the vessel is reported as
“very critical”, Maersk Line said in an update.
The ship is carrying a
total of 7,860 containers, corresponding to 12,416 TEU (twenty-foot
According to a report from the Indian Coast
Guard, the ship reported an explosion and fire with flames from the main deck
to the ship’s bridge – a height of about 25 meters. At one point on Tuesday,
the flames were so large that they could be seen from space, as captured by a
NOAA satellite some 530 miles above Earth.
have diverted their route to assist in the search and rescue operation, which
continues with help from the Indian Coast Guard. Currently, five merchant
vessels are involved including the MV Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller, which is coordinating
the efforts, according to Maersk.
Others vessels involved
have included the ALS Ceres, Seaspan Zambezi, Navigator Centauri and Al Jasrah,
the Indian Coast Guard reported earlier on Wednesday.
The cause of the fire and
extent of damage to the vessel and cargo is currently unknown.
The 353-meter MV Maersk
Honam was built in 2017 at Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea. It has a
nominal capacity of 15,262 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), and sails under
the Singapore flag.