Container ship fire could impact on bike availability

Cargonews Asia reports that a massive fire on board a container ship en route from Singapore to Rotterdam may have been caused by an explosion of fireworks in a container. Other experts say the cause was more likely to have been piracy. The MV Hyundai Fortune was carrying Chinese-made goods, everything from MP3 players to bicycles. It was towed to Salalah, Oman. 1000+ of the ship's 5000 containers were damaged and 2500 were lost overboard in what experts say could be the "biggest marine insurance claim ever."
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"The fire on board the Hyundai Fortune appears to have started in a container stowed close to the ship's engine room, a site with obvious heat emission. Only close examination of the packaging of that container will prove whether it contained any dangerous or hazardous cargo," said Cargonews Asia.

The Hyundai Fortune left Gwangyang in China in March and made calls at Busan, Kaohsiung, Hong Kong and Singapore on its way to Rotterdam. It was part of the New World Alliance Asia-Europe Express (AEX) service.

It went up in flames at the end of March but only now is it becoming clear that many of the containers on board were full of bicycles and bike kit.

Bike-eu.com said: "Dutch AGU for instance, knows that a container with bike underwear, which they badly need, is some still somewhere on the ship, apparently safe. Other containers are packed with the full year’s production of certain types of bikes."

Bengt Henriksen of Quality Logistics Inc. believes the explosion that ripped through the ship could not have been caused by fireworks, as first thought.

He told Cargolaw.com:

"The fire started below deck and the fireworks containers were loaded properly on the after part of hold 8. Thus they could not have been the cause of the fire/accident. ...There are numerous speculations, from an engine room fire, a crew member set the fire, a terrorist attack etc but fireworks were not the cause."

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http://www.cargolaw.com/2006nightmare_hyundai_for2.html

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