The operator of MSC Flaminia, Reederei NSB of Germany, said that on 14 July 2012 the vessel suffered an explosion as crews were battling a fire that broke out in the vessel’s number 4 cargo hatch. The ship was transiting the north Atlantic Ocean on its way from the Charleston to Antwerp with 2,876 containers.
As gCaptain had reported earlier, the explosion forced all crew to abandon ship and prompted the Falmouth Coastguard to broadcast an alert to all vessels in the area asking for assistance. The very large crude carrier, DS Crown, was first on the scene and was able to recover 24 crew from a liferaft.
A total of four crewmembers were reported to have sustained injuries and one crewmember was missing. It was later reported that one of the four crewmembers had died from the injuries sustained.
On Monday, the three injured crewmembers were transfered to the MSC Stella and later taken by helicopter to a hospital in Azores. In a statement, NSB Niederelbe says that two of the men are in stable condition and one has been transferred to Portugal to receive care.
No word yet on what may have caused the fire and explosion or the extent of the damage to the vessel, Reederei NSB said, adding that we will have to await salvage crews to arrive on scene to make those determinations.
NSB Niederelbe operates a fleet of 109 ships with a total capacity of more than 460,000 teu.
The fire onboard MSC Flaminia has again raised concerns about misdeclared cargo. Containers containing explosive or flammable materials are normally carried on the decks for safety reasons, but if the cargo manifest is incorrect or falsified, they might be stowed inside the cargo holds where they create a potential hazard.
For more news about MSC Flaminia, and development of the story, please visit The Journal of Commerce — http://www.joc.com/search/node/MSC%20Flaminia
This should be as another reminder to always insure your valuable cargo!