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Cosco boxship hit by blaze off India


Wednesday, 08 January 2020


Cause of the incident is still being investigated, but the carrier has cited the misdeclaration of dangerous goods as the main suspect

A Cosco Shipping containership has caught fire on its way from Malaysia to India and this is expected to lead to a delay of schedule.

While the cause of the incident is still being investigated, the carrier has cited the misdeclaration of dangerous goods as the main suspect.

The fire broke out in the number seven cargo hold late last week when the 2008-built, 10,020 teu Cosco Pacific was heading to Nhava Sheva from Port Klang, according to a customer notice leaked online.

It said the blaze was now under control, yet the degree of damage remained to be assessed. No casualties have been reported.

The carrier requested in a notice that shippers reveal unreported or misreported hazardous cargo. “Any undeclared cargo that may ignite or help ignite a fire can be the cause of the accident or the second and third causes of the accident,” it said.


The ship has switched its destination to the port of Colombo in Sri Lanka, where the affected cargo will be discharged for investigations.

“[The unloaded cargo] may not be reloaded onto the same ship,” the notice said. “We apologise for the losses caused by the delays,” the company said.

Vessel tracking data from Lloyd’s List Intelligence shows that Hong Kong-flagged Cosco Pacific was sailing northwards along the west coast of the Indian subcontinent before it made a U-turn on January 4 and then headed all the way back to Colombo. It arrived at the port on January 6 and remains there as of 1305 hrs local time today.

Lloyd’s List has sought comments from Cosco Shipping for the latest updates.          


The ship is part of the China-India express service named CI1, which was launched in December.

Port rotation is: Shanghai, Ningbo, Shekou, Nansha, Singapore, Port Klang, Nhava Sheva, Karachi, Colombo, Singapore and Shanghai.

A total of 15 carriers share slots on this route. In addition to Cosco Shipping, others include Maersk, CMA CGM, Pacific International Lines, ZIM, APL and Wan Hai.

The list of human and capital casualties for container shipping from hazardous cargo mishaps has become woefully long in recent years, but incidents keep occurring.

The Yantian Express fire in January 2019, followed by others through the year, raised the level of concern further


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