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Fire rages at Port Said as 13,100 teu boxship rams crane

A spectacular fire raged last night at Port Said after the 13,100 teu Cosco Hope hit a gantry crane as it tried to exit the Egyptian port. The crane’s boom fell onto containers on the berth, and local media suggests it also hit a fuel tank. More than 20 containers burned and two people were injured in the accident.

The four-year-old 366 m long ship is on charter to Cosco from Seaspan. It is now moored just outside the port as investigators assess the damage from the incident.

The Suez Canal Authority deployed fire engines and tugs to the scene and the fire was under control by dawn.

The authority has had a busy week handling trouble from mega boxships. Six tugs were needed to shift the MSC Fabiola over the weekend. The 12,500 teu ship had run aground in the Gulf of Suez after its generators stopped working leading to steering failure and the canal being blocked up for a short time.

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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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