Container Ship in Tow, Fire Under Control

The MSC Flaminia is under tow about 320 nautical miles off the British coast, owner Reederei NSB reported July 24.

The fire aboard the 984-foot container ship MSC Flaminia is under control, and the ship is now under tow about 320 nautical miles from the British coast and is listing 10 degrees because of the weight of water used to combat the fires and because some of the containers it is carrying have shifted, its owner, Reederei NSB, reported July 24. The ship, one of 109 operated by the German company from its headquarters in Buxtehude, was bound for Antwerp, Belgium from Charleston, S.C., with 2,876 shipping containers aboard, the Charleston Post and Courier newspaper reported.

The ship will be allowed to make a port call once the fire is extinguished; which port had not been decided as of July 24, according to the company's announcement.

The incident began July 14 with a fire and explosion that killed at least one crewman from the crew of 23. Most abandoned ship and were rescued, but one remains missing. Reederei NSB reported July 20 that four salvage specialists had boarded the ship and reactivated its firefighting system.

"The extent of the damage onboard our MSC FLAMINIA is considerable," the company's news release stated. "Cargo holds 4 -– where the fire originated from --, 5, and 6 are demolished. According to salvage specialists cargo hold 7, which is located adjacent to the superstructure, is not on fire. The superstructure itself, the engine room as well as bow and stern -– including the steering gear -– are all not affected by the fire."

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