The containership Charlotte Maersk is on fire in the Malacca Strait after leaving Port Klang bound for Oman. According to industry sources a fire started in a container carrying dangerous goods at 2130hrs local time yesterday after the 8,194 teu Charlotte Maersk had left Port Klang.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) said it received a call at about 10.10 p.m. local time and rushed a rescue ship and speedboat to the scene at about midnight.
The ship had left Port Klang and was heading towards the Arabic state Oman when the fire broke out on the front deck of the ship.
“We can confirm that the captain on board Charlotte Maersk, currently off Port Klang in Malaysia, has reported a fire on the foredeck of the vessel,” a Maersk spokesperson said.
“The vessel has initiated fire fighting procedures. Our priority right now is to assist the vessel in extinguishing the fire and ensure the safety of the crew, vessel and cargo. We do not have any further details at this point,” says Maersk in a press release.
The Malaysian authorities have sent fire fighting vessels to the help put out the fire on the Charlotte Maersk. There are no reports of any injuries to crew members or pollution. The vessel’s engines and thrusters are understood remain operational.
APMM said that some of the containers were still burning despite efforts to put out the fire. An amphibious Bombardier aircraft and additional rescue boats were on standby to provide aid. As of Thursday evening, efforts were still on going to put out the blaze.
There are 21 people onboard the ship from different countries, among others Denmark, India, and the Philippines. Maersk reports that three members of the crew are Danish – including the Captain. Everyone on board is unhurt.
Charlotte Maersk is a container ship built in 2002 at the Lindø shipyard on the Danish island of Funen. The ship is 347 meters long and 43 meters wide and weighs about 110,000 tonnes. It has a capacity to carry approximately 8194 containers.