Maersk cargo ship still on fire off Lakshwadeep on Day 2, search continues for 4 missing crew members

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Maersk cargo ship still on fire off Lakshwadeep on Day 2, search continues for 4 missing crew members

A crew member died and four others went missing while the others have been rescued.

A Maersk container ship, with 27 crew members on board including 13 Indians, caught fire in the Arabian Sea near Lakshadweep Islands on Tuesday night and is still ablaze.

A crew member died and four others went missing while the others have been rescued, reported Reuters.

"The ship had 27 crew members on board, of whom four are missing. Out of the 27 crew members, 13 are Indians including the captain of the ship," said the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).

23 crew members were rescued but one of them, a Thai national, died on Wednesday, Maersk said in a statement.

The 330-metre-long Maersk Honam, which was en route to Suez from Singapore caught fire with flames from the main deck of the ship rising up to its bridge, about 25 metres high, added Maersk.

The fire is still burning on Thursday and searches are still underway for the four crew members who went missing after the blaze, said news agency ANI.

"Boeing P 8 i long range maritime patrol aircraft getting airborne with search and rescue kit to look for the four missing crew including one Indian," said a tweet by Indian Navy spokesperson.

The Maersk vessel reported an explosion and fire on board and requested immediate assistance.

After getting information about the mishap, the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Mumbai immediately alerted all the merchant ships near the location through the satellite-based communication network, the International Safety Net (ISN), ICG said.

ICG ship Shoor was diverted for further assistance, it added.

The ship was at a distance of 570 kms (340 nautical miles) from Agatti in the Lakshwadeep Islands. The crew abandoned the ship as the fire spread beyond control, said ICG.

(With inputs from agencies)