Efforts to salvage the remnants of the containership MOL Comfort
took a turn for the worse over the weekend.
MOL reported a fire had broken out in the fore section of the ship as it was being towed by a salvage company.
The vessel broke apart on June 17 in a storm. The crew was rescued without any injuries reported. The two sections of the ship remained afloat, but on June 27 the aft part of the ship sank.
Tugs have been towing the fore section of the ship since June 24.
MOL said it requested the salvage company to start firefighting and a tug boat and two other rescue boats are responding to the fire at the scene.
In a press release issued Sunday, MOL said "the fire is not under control due to adverse weather yet. The salvage company has requested fire fighting assistance of Indian Coast Guard, and their patrol boat Samudra Prahari
, which is equipped with powerful external fire fighting system, is now proceeding to the scene."
If the fore portion of the ship is lost it could further complicate efforts to determine what caused the ship to break in half.
On Friday, the Japanese ship classification society Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (Class NK) said it had completed and "exhaustive review" of the ship's design as well as the plan approval process and "confirmed that the vessel design fully complied with all requirements of the ClassNK Rules and IACS regulations."
"A similar review of the vessel’s survey records has also been completed, and confirmed that the special survey of the vessel completed on 29 May 2013 was carried out in full compliance with the regulations and guidance for special surveys," Class NK said. "The review also verified that no abnormalities were observed during the Special Survey and that the vessel was in full compliance with all requirements of the ClassNK Rules and IACS regulations at the time of survey completion." - Chris Dupin