DENMARK's Maersk Line says firefighting is continuing on the Maersk Honam, while the 22 surviving crew members evacuated from the burning containership have safely reached shore.
The Danish shipping ginat said on Friday that the evacuated crew members had arrived in Cochin and Trivandrum. The company said most of the crew had been transferred to a hotel while an unspecified number were hosiptalised with some in intensive care. Two seafarers had been transferred to Trivandrum by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard due to the severity of their injuries, according to Seatrade Maritime News of Colchester, UK.
Chief technical officer for Maersk Line, Palle Laursen, said: 'We are relieved that a majority of our colleagues have been released from the hospital. We, however, remain deeply concerned about the health condition of our colleagues still in hospital and are grateful that they are in the capable hands of medical professionals.'
Search for four missing crew members continues, while one died after the evacuation. The company had earlier said hopes were fading for the four missing mariners.
An Indian Coast Guard vessel which arrived on Thursday, and two specialised firefighting vessels that were scheduled to arrive at the scene on Friday, are tackling the blaze on board the one-year old 15,262 TEU containership.
Maersk has appointed Smit Salvage and Ardent for the salvage operations.
'We are appreciative of the partnering assistance we've received from local Indian authorities and we must now let the salvage team do their work,' said Mr Laursen.
'It is still too early to determine the cause of the fire or the impact to the vessel or cargo. Obviously, finding the cause of the fire is very important to us and a full investigation will be conducted as soon as possible.'
The Singapore-flagged Maersk Honam was on enroute from Singapore to Suez with 7860 containers, equalling 12,416 teu, onboard at the time of the fire, which started on Tuesday.