23 crew members were evacuated from the distressed vessel. Maersk now reports that one of the evacuated colleagues, a Thai national male colleague, has tragically passed away. His health condition drastically deteriorated Wednesday afternoon (CET) due to the injuries sustained in connection to the fire.
“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,” says Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer and member of the Executive Board of A.P. Moller – Maersk.
The current status is that 22 crew members are enroute to Sri Lanka on board the vessel ALS Ceres, four crew members remain missing and one is reported dead.
“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 says.
Maersk Line will provide continued updates on the situation.
Tuesday 6 March 2018 at 15:20 GMT, the Maersk liner vessel Maersk Honam reported a serious fire in a cargo hold. Enroute from Singapore towards Suez, the vessel is currently positioned around 900 nautical miles southeast of Salalah, Oman. After being unsuccessful in their firefighting efforts, the crew sent out a distress signal and a total of 23 crew members were reported evacuated to the nearby vessel ALS Ceres, which arrived at the scene around 18:30 GMT. The fire onboard the Maersk Honam continues and the situation of the vessel is very critical.
A number of container vessels have diverted their route to assist in the search and rescue operation which continues. Currently five vessels are involved. The container vessel Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller is acting the coordinating efforts.
The nationalities of the 27 crew members are: India (13), the Phillipines (9), Romania (1), South Africa (1), Thailand (2) and the United Kingdom (1).
The vessel is carrying a total of 7860 containers, corresponding to 12416 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent). All impacted customers have been contacted directly.
The cause of the fire is currently unknown. Maersk Line will investigate the matter thoroughly in cooperation with all relevant authorities.
Maersk Honam was built in 2017, has a nominal capacity of 15262 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), and sails under Singapore flag.