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MSC containership catches fire near Colombo

The 13,800-TEU MSC Daniela was brought to anchor near the Colombo Lighthouse after containers on board burst into flames late last night about 120 nautical miles off the coast of Sri Lanka.

   A fire broke out on a Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) containership late last night off the coast of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
   The 13,800-TEU MSC Daniela was brought to anchor near the Colombo Lighthouse, where authorities are still working to extinguish the blaze. The Sri Lanka Navy said in a statement it deployed two fast attack craft and two tugs, which were joined by two vessels each from the Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy, as well as two helicopters, one from the Sri Lanka Air Force and the other from the Indian Coast Guard, in an effort to contain and extinguish the fire.
   The ship was en route from Singapore to the Suez Canal, but was forced to change course and seek emergency assistance.
   The cause of the fire is unknown at this point, but media reports suggested it began in a container located in the aft of the vessel.
   The Indian Navy has posted pictures and a video of the firefighting efforts in progress on its official Twitter account.
   According to ocean carrier schedule and capacity database BlueWater Reporting, the MSC Daniela serves on the 2M Alliance’s Asia-Mediterranean AE20/Dragon loop, on which HMM, Hamburg Süd and subsidiary Alianca, and WEC Line all take slots.
   The AE20/Dragon operates with 11 vessels with an average capacity of 13,435 TEUs. The loop has a full port rotation of Dalian, Xingang, Busan, Ningbo, Shanghai, Shekou, Yantian, Singapore, Port Said, Beirut, Gioia Tauro, La Spezia, Genoa, Marseille, Barcelona, Valencia, Malta, Salalah, Singapore, Yantian, Shanghai, and back to Dalian.