14 June 2018
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has rescued all 22 crew from a general cargo vessel SSL Kolkata after it caught fire due to an explosion on June 14, 2018, according to multiple national media reports.
According to a statement made to The Times of India by a senior Coast Guard official in the ICG, the 147-metre-long ship had sailed from Krishnapatnam for Kolkata with 464 containers on board.
The ICG spokesperson added that they suspected that an explosion had come from one of the containers shortly after midnight while the ship was near an anchorage for the Kolkata and Haldia ports in the Bay of Bengal.
They stated that the ship's crew had tried to control the situation, but due to high winds, the fire spread to nearly 60 containers.
As the ship started losing stability, the captain decided to maneuver the vessel to a shallower part of the Sandheads to Kolkata.
Its location was about 55 nautical miles off the Sandheads when Coast Guard Dorniers and the ICGS Rajkiran made contact around 8.30 am.
There are no reports of an oil spill; however, parties are on standby to control any hazardous waste.
Asia News International shared footage on Twitter of the ship on fire with the coast guard coming to the crew’s aid.
SOURCE: Port Technology