Amsterdam Bridge fire, September 2012


Boxship Amsterdam Bridge IMO 9450911, dwt 54405, capacity 4400 TEU, built 2009, flag Antigua, manager THIEN & HEYENGA (TUH) BEREEDERUNGS, Germany. Owner MS STADT MARBURG KG. Vessel is employed on INDFEX route operated by K-Line

Salvage vessels

Salvage tug Svitzer Surat IMO 9300726, dwt 500, built 2004, flag India.

Another German boxship with chemicals on fire. Amsterdam Bridge is ablaze in Mumbai.
At around 15:15 LT Sep 9
Indian Coast Guard Mumbai received a distress call from German boxship Amsterdam Bridge, reporting fire on board. Vessel left Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and was navigating in Mumbai Bay en route to Sri Lanka, Colombo. Reportedly some flammable chemical and toxic goods in container or containers caught fire, which spread to neighbouring containers, in or on hold close to superstructure. CG ships Samudra Prahari and Subhadra Kumari Chouhan were sent to a distressed vessel, crew of the Amsterdam Bridge was immediately evacuated. Fire was thought to be under control by 20:00 LT, but then it started again, setting ablaze the middle section and it seems, the whole superstructure.
As of 01:30 LT Sep 10 several salvage and CG ships grouped around Amsterdam Bridge, among them salvage vessel Svitzer Surat.
Boxship Amsterdam Bridge IMO 9450911, dwt 54405, capacity 4400 TEU, built 2009, flag Antigua, manager THIEN & HEYENGA (TUH) BEREEDERUNGS, Germany. Owner MS STADT MARBURG KG. TUH company (www.tuh.de) manages 38 vessels, no news on their website with regards to the fire (actually, there are no news at all), the Position page containing the data on fleet position is outdated.
Amsterdam Bridge on fire new details and good quality photo and video
Shashi Kallada (http://shashikallada.com) reports: On September 9 in the afternoon container vessel Amsterdam Bridge caught fire at Mumbai Harbour. Around 1700 hours with fire on board and thick smoke billowing out she moved out to anchorage, most likely Master and officers doing a blind navigation on a bridge clouded by thick smoke. Its just a luck she didnt collided with other vessels in the area of heavy traffic. At this time wind was SSW 16 Kts. Other vessels in the vicinity could hear Amsterdam Bridges Master desperately trying to get assistance from Mumbai VTS and JNPT.
After almost one and a half hour a Coast guard vessel arrived on scene followed by SCI Pawan a fire fighting tug. At midnight the fire was raging and fire fighting vessels were fighting fire. The initial fire is believed to be in one of the cargo holds.
It would have been a good practice if VTS is keeping a track of all fire fighting tugs in and near harbour to call them without any delay when there is a need. From the VHF distress traffic one could make out shore side was not having any information of what dangerous goods are there on Amsterdam Bridge. News prints state Coast Guard vessels Subhadra Kumari Chouhan and Samudra Prahari is engaged in fire fighting and pollution control.

Fire on Amsterdam Bridge under control but situation critical
Sep 11:
Amsterdam Bridge is about in the same position, AIS identifies vessel as anchored. Firefighters have managed to contain the fire on board, but the situation remains critical because of the presence of hazardous chemicals on board. No oil pollution has occurred and there is no imminent threat of any pollution to the environment, said the officials. 21 crew safe, though its location is not clear initially evacuation was reported, in latest news it is said crew is on board. Crew includes thirteen Filipino, three Myanmar, one Polish and four Ukrainian nationalities.
Coast Guard and naval ships along with Mumbai Port Trust and ONGC vessels are still carrying out the firefighting and cooling operations. Vessel has been shifted 1 mile south of the present position, off the shipping lanes. There are 119 containers loaded with dangerous goods, according to manifest. Mostly they contain inflammable petrol and turpentine products. A small explosion deep in the cargo hold triggered fire. Expert firefighters and chemical experts were to arrive on the scene late on Sep 10. operator of the vessel Japanese giant K-line have appointed Sweden-based Ms Resolve shipping as salvors for the vessel.

Sep 12 02:00 UTC: PTI News Agency: The major fire that broke out on the vessel Amsterdam Bridge had been completely extinguished, and only the smoke was coming out of the damaged containers, a senior Indian Coast Guard official said here late Sep 12. Professional salvors -- domestic as well as from abroad -- had arrived on the ship to undertake assessment of the damage. "Twenty-six containers in and around the seat of fire have been opened and seven were found damaged because of the fire," said the official.
It may be expected that the vessel will be taken to the port today Sep 12, but there is a feeling that official optimism is a bit too premature.

Boxship Amsterdam Bridge outside Mumbai and still a threat
As of morning Sep 17
boxship Amsterdam Bridge is anchored in the same position off the entrance to Mumbai Bay with salvage vessel Svitzer Surat anchored nearby. No news on the development from Indian officials, in Indian media or anywhere. In last and latest press-release officials said fire was extinguished, no containers with dangerous cargoes were damaged, everything in short, was as fine as it could be. If everything is so fine and safe, why the vessel is still kept anchored off port? MSC Flaminia fire experience provides us with the answer containers are still smouldering in hold or holds, some containers with dangerous goods were damaged or destroyed, and nobody knows what to do about it including salvage. The only way to effectively extinguish the fire is to move or offload containers, very difficult and expensive operation to perform at sea, but Amsterdam Bridge is kept at anchorage, which means the vessel is a threat if taken to port and docked, due to dangerous cargoes in some of the damaged or destroyed containers.

Forgotten Amsterdam Bridge in the same position
Sep 25:
container ship Amsterdam Bridge in the same position anchored at the entrance of Mumbai Bay, with salvage tug Svitzer Surat anchored nearby. No news with regards to present vessels condition and the situation in general.

Sep 28: Amsterdam Bridge is in the same position anchored off Mumbai with the salvage vessel Svitzer Surat anchored nearby. Already three weeks passed since the fire started, vessel obviously is still too hot and dangerous to be taken to the port. No news on the vessel at all, not in media, nor from officials.

Oct 03: Amsterdam Bridge is in the same position anchored off Mumbai with the salvage vessel Svitzer Surat anchored nearby. Already four weeks passed since the fire started, vessel obviously is still too hot and dangerous to be taken to the port. No news on the vessel at all, not in media, nor from officials.

Amsterdam Bridge one month after the fire, situation still under control
Oct 9:
Container ship Amsterdam Bridge in the same position anchored off Mumbai with salvage tug Svitzer Surat anchored nearby. No news at all, both from officials or in local media. Fire started a month ago on Sep 9, a day later officials said fire was extinguished and added the favourable phrase of all the officials of all the world - situation is under control. Well, it seems that situation is still under control, meaning the vessel is too dangerous to be towed to port for containers offloading, and all the involved parties dont want to admit it or simply to keep public informed on development of the salvage.

Boxship Amsterdam Bridge left Mumbai after two months of salvage
Nov 8:
Boxship Amsterdam Bridge left the Mumbai Outer Anchorage on Nov 8 2012, being anchored for two months after fire and explosions in cargo hold. Vessel is heading due west, proceeding at a reduced speed, most probably en route to some port in the region with sufficient ship repair capacities. The salvage continued for two months without any news from either officials, or ship owner, or media. Last news were issued some 2-3 days after the fire saying that everything is under control, fire extinguished. Its still unknown, why was the vessel kept outside Mumbai, what it was theyve been salvaging and was there any danger to the environment and locals.

Voytenko Mikhail







Photos taken by Indian Coast Guard






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