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Fire on Maersk boxship "under control"

Fire on Maersk boxship "under control"

Port Klang: The fire onboard the Charlotte Maersk is now under control according to its Danish shipowner though it has not been extinguished as earlier reports from the Malaysian authorities suggested.

"The fire on board Charlotte Maersk appears to be contained and under control. The fire is contained to the foredeck, in a safe distance from the bridge and crew accommodation," a spokesperson for Maersk Line said at 1800hrs local time on Friday.

Earlier reports from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency had said the fire had been put out Thursday afternoon. The fire which is believed to have started in a box started dangerous goods on July 7 at 2100hrs has now raged for just under two days.

"Our next step is to plan the extinguishing of the fire. To assist in this work, a team of eight fire fighting experts and one marine chemist is en route to the vessel. They are expected to arrive this afternoon/evening local time. Already on board is a salvage master," a spokesperson said.

Switzer Salvage, part of the AP Moller Maersk group, are understood to have been deployed as salvors.

"We cannot speculate on when the situation will be resolved and the fire extinguished. Our priority remains the continued safety of the crew, vessel and cargo, and we will take the time needed to ensure a successful resolution of the situation on board Charlotte Maersk," the company said.

The 8,194 teu vessel is deployed on the Asia - Europe trade and was sailing from Port Klang bound for Oman when the fire broke out.  [09/07/10]