Fire in Engine Room of Containership MOL Initiative
April 04, 2006
TOKYO - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL, President: Akimitsu Ashida) reported a fire in the engine room of the MOL-operated containership MOL Initiative off Hokkaido on April 3. Smoke remained in the crew quarters until noon on April 4. All 26 seafarers aboard the ship escaped without injury. No oil spill or leakage has been reported.
The fire was discovered around 5:23 a.m. on April 3 (Japan time), as the ship sailed from the U.S. West Coast port of Oakland, California, to Tokyo. At the time, the ship was about 45 km off south from Nemuro, Hokkaido, at latitude 42 north 51.7 and longitude 145 east 55.7. The fire was brought under control by pumping CO2 into the engine room, keeping lull until morning on April 4. However, at 11:30a.m on April 4, the engine room's external wall temperature increased and smoke reached the crew quarters. Considering the crew's safety as the top priority, MOL asked the First Regional Japan Coast Guard to evacuate them. At 4:40 p.m. on April 4, everyone on board was evacuated by helicopter to the patrol vessel, which was dispatched to the scene on April 3.
A Coast Guard vessel is observing the MOL Initiative, and relief boats are on its way to the site. The emergency task force headed by the President, has been established. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Profile of MOL Initiative
|Gross Registered Tons||: 50,030 tons|
|Type of vessel||: Containership|
|Built||: April 1988|
|Flag nation||: Panama|
|Crew||: 26 (7 Russian, 3 Ukrainian, and 16 Filipino)|
|Trade||: Liner service linking North America, Europe and Asia|
|Rotation||: North America (New York, Norfolk, Charleston, Panama, Los Angeles, Oakland)
Europe (Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Felixstowe)
Asia (Tokyo, Kobe, Chiwan (Shenzhen), Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, Pusan)