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Hapag-Lloyd says none of the eight officers and 15 seafarers aboard were injured when fire broke out on one of its container vessels crossing the Atlantic.

The carrier said the blaze started in a container on the deck of the 7,500 teu Yantian Express. The fire then spread to adjacent boxes.

“Efforts to extinguish the fire in the containers have had to be suspended for the time being, due to a significant deterioration of weather conditions,” the company added.

The 2002-built vessel, 320 metres long, sails under German flag in the East Coast Loop 5 (EC5) service, which connects South-east Asia with the east coast of North America and was on its way from Colombo to Halifax via the Suez Canal.

Hapag-Lloyd said the ship was currently around 650 nautical miles off the coast of Canada, and AIS data from vesselsvalue.com shows it heading east at a reduced speed of eight knots.

A Hapag-Lloyd spokesperson confirmed it was travelling at slow speed, although a new estimated time of arrival had not yet been established.

“It is still too early to make a precise estimate of any damage to the vessel or its cargo. Hapag-Lloyd is closely cooperating with all relevant authorities,” the company added.

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