Fire Hit Yantian Express En-route to Freeport, Bahamas
The Hapag-Lloyd containership "Yantian Express", has been burning in international waters off Canada’s east coast since Jan. 3, is now headed for the Port of Freeport in the Bahamas.
"The container fire that broke out on board the Yantian Express was largely contained and brought under control after one week by immediately launched fire-fighting efforts. Since then, the remaining salvage operations have made considerable progress," said a press release from the German-based cargo container shipping line.
"The responsible salvage master from the company Smit has decided to sail the Yantian Express to the Port of Freeport (Bahamas)," it added.
Once there, the recovery and assessment efforts of the cargo can proceed in a safer environment. At present, the container ship is approximately 1250 nautical miles from the Bahamas and is expected to arrive in Freeport by next week. The Yantian Express currently sails with its own machine and in tug escort, it said.
It is still not possible to make a precise estimate of any damage to the Yantian Express or its cargo. Hapag-Lloyd is working in close cooperation with all relevant authorities.
The 7,510 TEU Yantian Express, which is 320 meters long and sails under German flag in the East Coast Loop 5 (EC5) service, was built in 2002 and was originally on its way from Colombo to Halifax via the Suez Canal.