Mumbai, March 14 – Three unidentified charred bodies were found on board the container ship Maersk Honam which had caught fire on March 6 in the Arabian Sea near the Agatti Isles, an official said here on Wednesday.
“Maersk has informed that three bodies (out of the four missing persons including an Indian), have now been found on board the ill-fated container ship. The bodies are unidentifiable,” an Indian Coast Guard spokesperson said here.
The nationalities of the victims whose bodies were recovered are not known and there is no information about the fourth missing sailor so far, the official said.
The ship, laden with a cargo of containers classified as “dangerous, very hazardous to human beings”, capable of emitting poisons that can kill humans within a short time, besides being corrosive in nature, had caught fire in the high seas, around 1,300 km off Kochi around 9.45 p.m.
The Singapore-flagged vessel had left Singapore port on March 1 and was sailing to Suez, Egypt, when the tragedy occurred near the Lakshadweep Islands, off the south-west coast of India.
Responding to a distress call by the ship that night, several foreign vessels sailing in the vicinity had rushed to its aid, while the Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy had launched massive maritime and aerial search and rescue operations with its ships and aircraft for more than three days.
There were 27 crewmen on board the burning ship. They included 13 Indians, besides Filipinos, British, Romanian and Thais.While 23 sailors were rescued, four others, including an Indian, remained missing for the past eight days.
The rescued crewmen were admitted to hospitals in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala and their condition is reported to be stable.–IANS