Fire Breaks Out on MV Amsterdam Bridge off Mumbai Coast

A major ship fire erupted on the MV Amsterdam Bridge over the weekend off the coast of Mumbai. The blaze has fortunately been contained and cooling operations are ongoing aboard the Colombo-bound merchant vessel. The entire 20-man crew is safe. Indian Coast Guard officials confirm that the flames are contained, but not yet fully extinguished. Thick smoke continues to rise from the vessel and fire-fighting is underway.

The 54,405 tonne vessel was going to Colombo from Mumbai and was allegedly carrying hazardous cargo. The vessel was carrying hazardous cargo when it caught fire near the Prongs Reef Lighthouse in South Mumbai. 24 containers out of the 112 onboard the vessel contained 45 tonnes of dangerous material including petrol, turpentine and more. No oil spill has been reported yet, even though the ship’s fuel tank contained 2,600 tonnes of heavy fuel.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the fire, but the actual base of the fire has been localized in hold number three of the vessel, reports the Hindustan Times. Officials suspect that the fire erupted somewhere near the engine room of the vessel. The full damage of the incident cannot be evaluated until the fire is completely extinguished.

Apart from four Indian Coast Guard ships – ICGS Samudra Prahari, ICGS Subhadra Kumari Chouhan, ICGS Sankalp, and ICGS Sangram – two Indian naval vessels, two Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) fire-fighting tugs and five ONGC tugs are assisting the Coast Guard in containing the fire.

The Antigua and Barbuda-flagged container ship was built in 2009 and is classed by Germanischer Lloyd. It was scheduled to reach the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo tomorrow.

Update 1: SEP 11 2012

Amsterdam Bridge is about in the same position, AIS identifies vessel as anchored. Firefighters have managed to contain the fire on board, but the situation remains critical because of the presence of hazardous chemicals on board. No oil pollution has occurred and there is no imminent threat of any pollution to the environment, said the officials. 21 crew safe, though its’ location is not clear – initially evacuation was reported, in latest news it is said crew is on board. Crew includes thirteen Filipino, three Myanmar, one Polish and four Ukrainian nationalities.

Coast Guard and naval ships along with Mumbai Port Trust and ONGC vessels are still carrying out the firefighting and cooling operations. Vessel has been shifted 1 mile south of the present position, off the shipping lanes. There are 119 containers loaded with dangerous goods, according to manifest. Mostly they contain inflammable petrol and turpentine products.  A small explosion deep in the cargo hold triggered fire. Expert firefighters and chemical experts were to arrive on the scene late on Sep 10. operator of the vessel Japanese giant K-line have appointed Sweden-based Ms Resolve shipping as salvors for the vessel.

Sources: The Maritime Executive, NDTV, www.odin.tc

Comments

  1. Indian news lies , because of the fault of indian stewedors detained the fire.

  2. Vinod Mehrotra says:

    Can some body advise detailed status of vessel, i.e., when it left Mumbai and when it reached Shanghai etc.

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