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Fire aboard Zim carrier still smolders but appears under control

  • An emergency zone was declared around the MV Zim Kingston after containers carrying more than 50 tons of a dangerous chemical went ablaze
  • Sixteen seamen were evacuated from the ship, while five other crew members stayed behind to put out the fire
  • Tug boats have sprayed water around the area of the fire to keep it from spreading, and a helicopter flyover gathered evidence that this has worked
  • Zim earlier released an advisory saying the container ship en route from Busan to Vancouver encountered very heavy weather conditions, causing dozens of containers to fall overboard and a fire to break out

A container fire that broke out aboard a container ship of Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd that was carrying tons of a dangerous chemical off Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, appears to be smoldering but is under control, according to the Canadian Coast Guard.

An emergency zone was declared around the MV Zim Kingston ship after containers carrying more than 50 tons of a dangerous chemical went ablaze.

“The Canadian Coast Guard received a report around 11am this morning from the MV Zim Kingston that a fire has broken out in the damaged containers onboard,” the Canadian Coast Guard said in a statement on October 24.

Sixteen seamen were evacuated from the ship, said the Coast Guard, while five other crew members stayed onboard to put out the fire.

Reuters in a report on October 25 said Canadian Coast Guard Commander JJ Brickett reported that Zim has indicated that the fire has burned itself out. Tug boats have sprayed water around the area of the fire to keep it from spreading, and a helicopter flyover has gathered evidence that this worked.

The company that manages the ship, Danaos Shipping, told CBC News the fire “appears to have been contained.”

“Danaos have commissioned a salvage and fire extinguishing agency to come on board in order to ensure that conditions are appropriate for the safe return of the vessel’s crew,” the firm said in a statement on October 25.

In response to CBC News asking for comment, the Canadian Coast Guard in a tweet on October 25 said the fire on the vessel was still active but crews were seeing a reduction in smoke.

Earlier, Zim Integrated Shipping on October 22 released an advisory saying that MV Zim Kingston, which was en route from Busan in South Korea to Vancouver, encountered very heavy weather conditions, causing dozens of containers to fall overboard.

The Canadian Coast Guard and other local authorities were notified, and the vessel was instructed to anchor off the Canadian coast, it said.

“Following the damage to some containers on board, a few containers caught fire. Most crew members were evacuated from the vessel, and a few stayed on board to assist with the firefighting efforts. All crew members are reported safe,” Zim said.

“We are closely coordinating with the vessel’s owners, the Canadian authorities and other relevant agencies, while working under heavy weather conditions, to handle the incident,” the carrier said.

Photo from VesselFinder

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