Hapag-Lloyd has evacuated crew members from its container ship Yantian Express, which caught fire on 3 January.

The fire broke out in one of the containers on the deck of the vessel when it was sailing from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada, via the Suez Canal.

Following the breakout, additional containers on-board the 7,510 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) vessel were engulfed by fire.

In a statement, Hapag-Lloyd said: “Due to bad weather conditions, the fire has not been successfully contained yet and has significantly increased in intensity at times.

“Despite the ongoing firefighting support from the salvage tug Smit Nicobar, the fire has not been extinguished yet.

“For this reason, a decision was made to evacuate the crew.”

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“The rescued eight officers and 15 seafarers were said to be in good shape and have been safely transferred to Smit Nicobar.”

The rescued eight officers and 15 seafarers were said to be in good shape and have been safely transferred to Smit Nicobar.

Hapag-Lloyd is yet to complete estimating the loss incurred to Yantian Express and its cargo.

The 320m-long Yantian Express is currently positioned around 800 nautical miles off the coast of Canada (Nova Scotia).

Built in 2002, the vessel currently operates under the German flag in the East Coast Loop 5 (EC5) service.

Hapag-Lloyd currently operates a fleet of 222 container ships with a total transport capacity of 1.6 million TEU.