Maersk Line said that a Thai national among the 23 evacuated to the vessel ALS after a serious fire erupted on the 15,262 teu Maersk Honam on Tuesday had died from his injuries. He was one of two crew members that Maersk had said was receiving medical attention. The company said his condition “drastically deterioated” on Wednesday afternoon.
'We are deeply saddened with the passing of one of our colleagues who in the first place had been evacuated. The seriousness of the event has escalated and everyone in Maersk is moved by this. We are in contact with the family of the deceased and our thoughts and condolences go to them,” said Søren Toft, coo and member of the Executive Board of AP Moller – Maersk.
Four other seafarers are missing from the 2017-built vessel after a fire erupted in one of its cargo holds 1520 hrs GMT on Tuesday 900 nm southeast of Salalah, Oman. An explosion is reported to have followed the fire with flames rising 25 m above the main deck of the vessel to the bridge. Unsuccessful in their attempts to tackle the fire the crew of the Mearsk Honam sent a distress call and 23 were evacuated to the nearby vessel ALS Ceres.
“We are doing our outmost in this tragic situation to care for all evacuated colleagues and continue the intense search and rescue operations ongoing for the four crew members currently reported missing,” Søren Toft said.
Fire continues onboard the vessel and Maersk described the situation as “very critical”. Five vessels are involved in the search and rescue operations with the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller coordinating.
The 22 surviving crew are enroute to Sri Lanka onboard the ALS Ceres.
Maersk said the cause of the fire was unknown.
The Singapore-flagged Maersk Honam was on enroute from Singapore to Suez with 7860 containers, equalling 12,416 teu, onboard at the time of the fire.