Explosion on container ship injures three

Three crewmembers were injured by an explosion in the engine room of container ship MSC Rachele (IMO 9290282) on Tuesday June 21st while the vessel was about 20nm south of Cape Cépet, en route from Napoli, Italy to the port of Fos-sur-Mer, France.

The three were medevaced by the French Navy aboard the amphibious assault helicopter carrier Tonnerre for immediate medical treatment at the Sainte-Anne army training hospital in Toulon. Two were reportedly in serious condition.

A fire that was caused by the explosion is said to be under control. “No immediate threat exists in terms of pollution or maritime safety,” the Mediterranean Maritime Prefecture said.

The vessel is being towed to the port of Fos-sur-Mer by commercial tugs chartered by the containership’s owner.

“The weather in the area, current and forecast, is mild enough to consider towing operations in good conditions,” the Mediterranean Maritime Prefecture said.

A support and assistance vessel, the Pionnier, chartered by the Mediterranean Maritime Prefecture, was on the scene to provide emergency towing if necessary.

2005-built, Panama-flagged, 90,745 gt MSC Rachele is owned by Rachele Naviera care of manager MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co of Geneva, Switzlerland. ISM manager is Mediterranean Shipping CO Srl of Piano di Sorrento, Italy. It is entered with North of England on behalf of Conglomerate Maritime Ltd. As of June 22nd the vessel had arrived at Fos Sur Mer, near Marseille, France.