Fire-damaged container ship Yantian Express finally arrives in Halifax

A container ship that caught fire mid-ocean in January finally arrived at its Halifax destination on Monday after spending nearly four months in Freeport, Bahamas.

260 containers were destroyed by the fire that burned for days on the Hapag-Lloyd owned Yantian Express, said Peter Ziobrowski, a shipping expert who operates the blog Halifax Shipping News.  

460 other containers were inspected for probable damage, he said. 

Some refrigerated containers lost power in the fire, spoiling the contents.

“The cargo that was still good was put back on the ship and it sailed up to Halifax,” said Ziobrowski.

“The cargo that can continue on will just be put on to the next ship.”

Smoke can be seen coming from the deck of the Yantian Express on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. The photo was taken by Midshipman Cameron Brunick who was aboard a merchant vessel as part of his shipboard training at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. (Cameron Brunick)

The ship is now destined for China where it will be docked for repairs, said Ziobrowski.

The vessel was coming from Sri Lanka and was scheduled to unload cargo in Halifax on Jan. 4

The fire broke out on Jan. 3,  roughly 1,900 kilometres from Halifax, and crew members were evacuated to other ships. None of the workers onboard the Yantian Express were injured.

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