Arson suspected as third fire in three weeks hits Mitsubishi yard

Arson suspected as third fire in three weeks hits Mitsubishi yard

Investigators are looking at the possibility of arson at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ (MHI) Nagasaki yard, following the third fire incident in the space of a month.

Firefighters were called to the Japanese yard yesterday where carboard and insulation material caught fire aboard the AIDA Prima, one of two vessels MHI is building for Germany’s AIDA Cruises.

Sunday’s incident follows an electrical wiring fire near a theatre space on January 11, and a cabin fire involving a piece of cloth on January 13.

The fires came after delivery of the ship, originally planned for March 2015, was repeatedly delayed amid design changes. The current delivery deadline is this April.

MHI is no stranger to fires on nearly-built cruiseships – the one that decimated the Diamond Princess 12 years ago resulted in one of the largest maritime insurance claims ever.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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