News:Middle East & Africa

Updated: APL Austria blaze finally extinguished

Updated: APL Austria blaze finally extinguished Photos: South African Maritime Safety Authority

The fire onboard the APL Austria was extinguished on Wednesday in the Port of Ngqura, South Africa.

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) had said that on Thursday that operations had reached the mop up stage with the fire essentially extinguished, after it started on Sunday.

“The good news is that the fire on board is completely extinguished and port operations continued as normal (with) two additional large container ships docking at the port today (Wednesday) where, for a while, no ships were allowed into the port while this other vessel was on fire,”said Daron Burgess, Samsa’s technical manager for the Southern Region.

The plan is to now drain out some 30,000 cu m of water, ash and residue in the ship's hold from the firefighting operation.

apaus3Commenting on the condition of the vessel Burgess said: “No visual structural damages to No.4 cargo hold at this stage," adding that there were still about 16 containers remaining on board on deck on top of No.4 hatch – two of which appeared to contain rice (25kg bags) and smouldering.

As of Tuesday evening Samsa said 281 containers had been removed from the hold of the APL Austria.

Two fire safety experts are inspecting the vessel to try and find the cause of the fire.

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Posted 16 February 2017

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Marcus Hand

Editor, Seatrade Maritime News

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