Hundreds of boxes damaged in latest containership blaze off Colombo

Date: Friday, August 19, 2022
Source: Splash 24/7

Reports have emerged of another sizeable fire onboard a boxship. Insurance firm WK Webster carries news of a fire on the 8,586 teu Zim Charleston 10 days ago in the Indian Ocean.

Tracking from MarineTraffic (see below) shows the ship made for Colombo after the fire erupted, where the ship remains today.

The fire erupted in cargo hold 4 and up to 300 containers may have been damaged in the blaze. Boxes on deck have been removed at the East Container Terminal in Colombo while further investigations are being made to ascertain whether it is safe to discharge containers from the affected hold.

ZIM officials have yet to confirm details of the fire despite repeated email requests from Splash. The ship is owned by Seaspan.

Liner shipping has been chastened by statistics from insurers that suggest a major fire takes place on a boxship every 60 days.

ICHCA International, the cargo handling operatives association, calculated back in 2019 that of the 60m packed containers moved each year, 10% or 6m are declared as dangerous goods. Information from published government inspections – which are invariably biased towards declared dangerous goods loads – suggests that 20% of these are poorly packed or incorrectly identified. This translates into 1.3m potentially unstable dangerous goods containers travelling around the world each year.



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