SSL Kolkata risks splitting in two

The SSL Kolkata has listed further starboard and officials say it is likely to split in two as early as this weekend.

The Shreyas feeder boxship suffered an explosion three weeks ago in West Bengal waters. Its crew evacuated and the ship drifted on fire, before grounding near the maritime boundary with Bangladesh. It has since listed, with waves lapping over much of the ship and into the holds. Salvors are unlikely to be able to move it. There are some 220 tonnes of bunker fuel onboard.

A crack on the upper deck has widened while the port side of the ship is also starting to buckle.

Ships have been warned to give the ship a wide berth as many containers have washed off the vessel. A vessel has been sent from Chittagong to pick up the boxes, both in the sea and on deck.

No cause for the initial explosion has been given yet.

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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