***NEWSFLASH*** Lithium batteries identified as cause of fire onboard Cosco box ship – Misdeclared Cargo

A fire erupted onboard Cosco’s 10,000 teu containership Cosco Pacific over the weekend, causing the vessel to reroute.

According to a notice Cosco sent to customers, seen by Splash, the fire started from one of the containers while the vessel was enroute to Nhava Sheva, India from Port Klang in Malaysia. The vessel had to change its destination to Colombo for inspections.

The fire has been contained but the extent of damage remains unclear.

Cosco has asked customers to report voluntarily if any of them made false declarations of cargo onboard the vessel. In the meantime, investigations into the incident are ongoing.

AIS information shows that the vessel left Port Klang on January 3 and arrived at Colombo on January 5. Currently the vessel is still moored at Colombo Port.

The schedule of the ship will be delayed until further notice. The ship’s original port calling schedule after Port Klang was Nhava Sheva, Shekou, Ningbo and Shanghai.

China Cosco Shipping has identified the self-ignition of misreported lithium batteries as the cause of fire onboard its mega box ship Cosco Pacific.

The vessel caught fire while it was enroute to Nhava Sheva, India from Port Klang last weekend, and had to divert to Colombo for inspections.

According to a Cosco update on the incident, the fire started from a container operated by Wan Hai Lines and the burnt lithium batteries in the container, loaded from Nansha and destined for Nhava Sheva, were falsely declared as spare parts and accessories.

All three containers from the same shipper, along with several containers around the burnt container, have been unloaded from the ship.

The company may declare general average for all the financial losses caused by the fire.

Currently, the ship is waiting for a final assessment before it can continue its voyage.

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