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Crew safe after container fire on APL Le Havre off India Coast

      08/13/2019

An APL containership was diverted to the port of Mundra in India last week after several containers caught fire. The India Coast Guard said the 26-member crew was safe.

APL Le Havre, a containership with capacity to carry 10,106 TEUs, was about 40 miles southwest of Porbandar, India, en route from Karachi, Pakistan, to Nhava Sheva, India, when the India Coast Guard received information about the fire at about 7:15 p.m. on Friday, August 9, according to the website Connect Gujarat.

The ship’s crew was able to bring the fire, which involved four to six containers according to various media reports, under control by Saturday morning. Reportedly, the crew fought the fire overnight by drilling holes and pouring water into containers.

The APL Le Havre is deployed in APL’s India Pakistan Express 2, or IP2 service between ports in North Europe, the Middle East and India.

The APL Le Havre blaze is the latest of several containership fires this year, and comes at a time when a number of shipping lines are cracking down on misdeclared dangerous goods.

Last week Hapag-Lloyd announced it will implement a $15,000-per-container penalty for misdeclaration of hazardous cargo prior to shipment.

Evergreen also has decided to increase penalties for misdeclared cargo. A notice from the Taiwanese carrier reproduced on the Loadstar news site said a penalty of $35,000 may be imposed if an amendment is “forced by Evergreen Line who found in usual checks concealment, omission or misdeclaration of any particular in description of goods” that are hazardous. Evergreen also proposes heavy fines for misdeclared waste commodities or nonhazardous cargo with special declaration requirements.

Hyundai Merchant Marine and OOCL also have said they will impose penalties for misdeclared cargo, according to the website Splash.

In an August 8 customer advisory, Maersk said it will require shippers of dangerous goods to confirm using a check box that their cargo has been correctly declared, stuffed safely in containers and that they are aware their containers may be opened and inspected.